Tottenham Hotspur are willing to offer Mauricio Pochettino a lucrative new contract to lead the club into their £850 million stadium as reward for his impressive work that has attracted a number of suitors.
Pochettino further enhanced his reputation with the Champions League draw against Juventus in which Tottenham came from behind to dominate their hosts.
Real Madrid are interested in Pochettino, while the Argentine’s former club Paris Saint-Germain are also admirers. But Spurs are desperate for Pochettino to take the club into their new stadium next season and believe he is keen to see out the project he started almost four years ago.
Having joined Tottenham in 2014 from Southampton, Pochettino signed a new five-year contract in 2016 worth £5.5m-a-year, which means Tottenham are under no pressure to try to reach an agreement with the 45 year-old. But it will be two years since his last extension in May and Spurs are understood to be ready to hand Pochettino a pay rise and a new deal if he ignores the interest from Real and PSG, and makes it clear he wants to stay put.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy claimed in Pochettino’s book, Brave New World, that he would like “nothing more” than for the current manager to see through his work over the next 10 to 15 years. And Pochettino responded by saying he would “love” to stay at Spurs for 10 to 15 years and “sign that contract”.
Pochettino is highly rated at a number of Tottenham’s Premier League rivals and throughout Europe, but there is a feeling that only Real would stand a chance of convincing him to leave this summer. He did not rule out a move to Real when questioned by a Spanish journalist on Monday night, but also reaffirmed his commitment to Tottenham and insisted he remains excited by the club’s prospects as they prepare to move into their new stadium.
Other than considering making Pochettino a contract offer, Tottenham have already started moves to tie Dele Alli down to a new long-term deal and are expected to offer striker Harry Kane another extension this summer.
Christian Eriksen, Tottenham’s man-of-the-match against Juventus, believes Pochettino will stay and thinks the fightback against last season’s Champions League finalists offered further proof of how far the club have come under him.
“Of course, we are building on every season compared to when I arrived here four or five years ago,” said Eriksen, who joined Spurs in 2013 – one year before Pochettino. “The games against the top teams when you are 2-0 down after nine minutes, you lost 6-0.
“That’s the thing we’ve changed with the manager coming in, with the players we have here. Everyone has grown up and they are not going to lie down if they are 2-0 down.
“Tottenham has become, compared to what it was when I came to what it is now, completely different. That’s up to the manager, up to the players and the quality we have in the squad really.”
Asked about whether or not he and his team-mates are worried about all the outside interest in Pochettino, Eriksen added: “The players are happy with him, the club is very happy with him.
“Of course, it’s his decision but I think what he’s building here he would like to be part of it. I think that’s what he showed when he signed the new deal, a long-term deal, but of course there will be interest from other clubs because he’s doing really well but, hopefully, he’ll stay.”
On the eve of their superb display in Turin, a table of the costliest squads in the top five leagues was released that placed Tottenham 12th behind Everton and five places back from Juve. It is the kind of thing chairmen and chief executives all over Europe will study and reaffirms the belief that, trophies or no trophies, Pochettino’s Tottenham are punching above their weight.
Silverware remains the ultimate goal, but qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League and the displays against Juventus, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund have demonstrated that real progress is still being made.
“I don’t know if you ever feel ready to win the Champions League,” said Eriksen. “Most clubs are just used to it. Tottenham are not used to it, but, of course, Tottenham are going to give everything we can to get as close as possible to get our hands on a trophy. To get there is the first step. Luckily we had a good result in Italy and the next step is to go through.
“We don’t care where we are or what time it is, or which stadium we play in or which we team we play, we always try to dominate, to get the ball forward as quickly as possible and create something.”