Tottenham Hotspur supporters breathed a sigh of relief after Mauricio Pochettino penned on a five-year extension with the club last month, but Zinedine Zidane’s surprise resignation from Real Madrid sparked speculation once again.
The 45-year-old shocked the world after stepping down, just days after securing an unprecedented hat-trick of Champions League trophies, and Real were said to view Pochettino as their primary target to succeed the Frenchman, despite his new deal, according to Sky Sports.
However, the saga seems to finally be over, with Madrid’s appointment of the Spain national team coach Julen Lopetegui; who will take over the La Liga giants after the 2018 World Cup in Russia, according to a statement from the official club website.
Some felt Pochettino may have jumped the gun in renewing his contract in north London, as Madrid is largely considered the biggest club in world football. And the Argentine’s own comments suggest events could have been very different if Zidane’s resignation had come earlier in the window.
“When Real Madrid call you, you have to listen to them,” claimed Pochettino in an interview with The Times, shortly after signing his deal, sparking the familiar feeling of unease among sections of the Spurs supporters again.
Lopetegui impressed the Los Blancos superiors after guiding Spain comfortably through qualification to the World Cup finals, and is unbeaten in his tenure – stretching back to July 2016 – registering 14 wins and six draws in 20 games.
He had initially agreed a new contract until Euro 2022 just last May, but three-days before Spain’s first clash against Portugal, the boss has signed a three-year deal with Madrid.
Tottenham will now turn their entire focus to improving the squad in the quest for silverware next term, now knowing that Pochettino will be at the helm for the foreseeable future at White Hart Lane.