Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has ended speculation over his future, amid suggestions of a buy-out clause in his contract, by committing to Spurs for at least another season.
Pochettino has been linked with the vacant Inter Milan job following the sacking of Stefano Piolo earlier this month and Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte distancing himself from the role.
The 45-year-old Argentinian, who has guided Spurs to a second-place Premier League finish this term, was also mentioned in connection with Barcelona after Luis Enrique announced his intention to leave Camp Nou at the end of the campaign.
“No, no buy-out clause in my contract. I will stay here next season,” said Pochettino, whose side play dethroned top-flight champions Leicester City at the King Power Stadium tomorrow night.
“There are many rumours but I am committed to the club and have no reason to leave the club. I will stay here, don’t worry. On 3 July, for pre-season, I will be here, don’t worry.”
Pochettino, who signed a new five-and-a-half-year deal in May 2016, has seen his stock rise after leading Tottenham’s closest top-flight title challenges since their double winning season of 1960-61 over the past two campaigns.
The same applies to some of their squad’s leading lights, while it can be argued that Tottenham have become a victim of their own success. Improved results have enhanced reputations, but the bottom line of a lack of trophies may ultimately make it harder to retain sought-after players.
Pochettino’s stance, however, will be a major boost for Tottenham as they embark on a season of upheaval next term and a temporary move to Wembley while the building of their new stadium is completed.
Spurs chalked up a record-equalling 14th successive home league win against Manchester United at White Hart Lane on Sunday which ensured they navigated the entire season unbeaten on their own turf – a feat last achieved during the 1964-65 campaign.
In contrast, they won just one of four European matches at Wembley this season and also lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final at the national stadium last month, yet Pochettino is convinced his side can muster a renewed title charge over the next year.
“We were so close again this season, but like last season it was not enough,” added Pochettino. “I am sure next season we will try again to fight. We need to do better, be stronger, improve in every area to try to win.”
Tottenham have a problem at right wing-back this evening with both Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier ruled out through an ankle injury and concussion respectively. Spurs are also without Erik Lamela, Danny Rose and Harry Winks.
Leicester have their own injury problems and manager Craig Shakespeare has revealed he has just 16 senior players available for the clash. Skipper Wes Morgan, Danny Drinkwater and Andy King are among the absentees.