When Tottenham announced on May 24 that it had signed Mauricio Pochettino, it seemed that the Argentine and the club would be together well into the future, with both sides expressing joy at clinching the deal.
Then Zinedine Zidane shocked the world on Thursday.
And now, a day later, Pochettino has admitted to Spanish newspaper El Confidencial that “when Real Madrid calls, you have to listen.”
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It would be a crushing blow for Tottenham to lose Pochettino, not only because it had just signed him to a new deal, but also because of how Pochettino has transformed the club.
In the years before Pochettino arrived, Tottenham was routinely the team finishing just outside the top four, constantly missing out on the Champions League while never really challenging for titles. Big players came through during the club’s first 20 years in the Premier League, but in the B.P. (before Pochettino) era, Tottenham’s highest Premier League finish was a single fourth place finish in 2010.
Since arriving in 2014, Pochettino has not only launched Tottenham into the top four, he’s changed the overall ethos of the club, giving his side and its fans belief that they can actually compete for a league or cup title. Yes, there have been disappointments, like the poor form in the UEFA Champions League in 2016 and falling short in the title race against Leicester City.
But on the other hand, Pochettino has unearthed and developed global stars in Dele Alli, Eric Dier and of course Harry Kane, and the young squad could stay together this summer and push toward greater heights in the league and in Europe under Pochettino.
Which brings us to Real Madrid. The Times of London is reporting that it would take a monstrous $56.6 million to buy Pochettino out of his Tottenham contract. While that should bring some relief to Tottenham fans, Real Madrid effectively can print its own money with the kind of global revenues they earn and if Florentino Perez feels pressured to hire the Argentine, no amount of money will stop him.
It would be a massive loss to Tottenham and the Premier League should Pochettino leave at this point of the Spurs project. Hopefully, he stays around to see it come to fruition.