Real end pursuit of Pochettino

Guillem Balague says Real Madrid have “decided to abandon the possibility of signing Mauricio Pochettino”.

The Champions League winners have been known admirers of the highly-rated Tottenham Hotspur boss.

And following the shock departure of head coach Zinedine Zidane, the Argentine became their number one target.

But Pochettino has since signed a new contract with Spurs, and coupled with potentially having extended negotiations with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, has turned Real Madrid President Florentino Perez off the idea of pursuing him any further.

This is good news for Spurs fans, who have seen dramatic improvement in their side under the former Espanyol and Southampton head coach.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Spanish football expert Balague said: “Real could see there was so many positives in signing him, not just the fact he can deal with the stars but how he improves players and how he works with youth players as well.

“But what they had in front of them was the possibility of negotiating with Daniel Levy for perhaps a month, even longer, with no guarantees whatsoever that they were going to get him.

“They know that Levy is a very tough negotiator, with having been in touch with him in recent seasons. They’ve decided to abandon the possibility of signing Mauricio Pochettino.

“That makes life very difficult for Real Madrid because there is not someone you could consider an automatic candidate after Pochettino.

“They will have to look at other possibilities including all the managers that are already in a job with a contract.

“Real started fishing and put the idea out there in the media to see what the reaction was, but straight away they realised there was no clause for Pochettino to leave.

“They leaked to the media with the idea of adding pressure that there was a deal between Levy and Pochettino where he could leave for Madrid, but that was also false and very quickly quashed by Spurs. There really was no door half open.”