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Pochettino is keen, but Levy bites


Mauricio Pochettino was in Barcelona yesterday to promote his new book but spent the whole day talking about Real Madrid. It’s hardly surprising, he’s the principal candidate to take the coaching post – he’s already tickled Florentino’s fancy - with that 3-1 victory Tottenham gained over Madrid during the group stage of the last Champions League. At the time there was a few flattering comments aimed at the Spurs boss, which incidentally, Zidane got to hear about it and that was one of the factors which influenced his decision to leave. He knew that the club’s faith in him was only relative – he also had disagreements with the president on issues which were not exactly minor – Cristiano, Bale and the goalkeeping position; he was also aware that the club were monitoring the situations of several other coaches over the duration of the whole season – those of Joachim Löw and Pochettino in particular.

Mauricio Pochettino in Barcelona yesterday.
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Mauricio Pochettino in Barcelona yesterday.G3-CATGTRES

Madrid have already put Spurs' noses out of joint - twice

Löw has ruled himself out of the running in no uncertain terms. He’s not interested in returning to coach at club level, his body is no too used to working at a different pace. Pochettino though has left the door open; he’d relish the chance to coach Real Madrid and he’d be an excellent choice to do so – but he is bound by his contract at Tottenham, with whom he renewed without the insertion of a get-out clause. Daniel Levy, the club’s owner, would not facilitate Pochettino’s exit. Madrid have already deprived him of Modric and Bale and looking back, both of those operations were long, drawn-out dealings and in Bale’s case, only came to fruition because the world transfer record was broken – which at the time, pricked Cristiano’s ego. After all of that, there is no way that Levy will allow Pochettino to leave without a fight as the coach himself is first to admit. “Levy bites”, he said yesterday.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.
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Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.ALBERTO LINGRIAREUTERS

How Florentino sees the coaching job at Real Madrid

Those with insider knowledge have mentioned Allegri’s name to me. The Italian coach has steered his Juventus side to a succession of Scudettos, although his sides tend to fare less well in the Champions League. Nevetheless, in Italy, on hearing the news of Zidane’s depsrture, a jok started doing the rounds: “He became so bored with winning the Champions League that he wants to come back to Juve”. That’s not going to happen but Allegri certainly has all the necessary credentials to go in the opposite direction from Turin to Spain. Florentino has a thing about coaches who like to get on well with their players, in his view, it impedes them from being strict when the need arises. We have a summer of a lot of comings and goings in store, and that’s why Florentino wants a coach who will listen to him rather than to the squad and that’s where Allegri fits the bill.