LONDON, April 29 -Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has announced he intends to extend his contract with the Premier League club by two years until 2021.
The Argentinian has taken Spurs to second in the table and the north London side still have a slim chance of winning the title, with the White Hart Lane club seven points behind champions-elect Leicester City with three games of the season left.
Such has been the impact of former Southampton manager Pochettino upon Tottenham, that he has been linked with a number of high-profile jobs and touted as a possible successor to Louis van Gaal should the Dutchman be sacked by Manchester United.
However, Pochettino appeared to end talk of a move to Old Trafford by saying on Friday he had no qualms in staying with Tottenham, a club he joined in 2014.
“It was an easy decision when you feel the love of the people and the potential of the club is massive, so why change?,” he said.
“We create a good atmosphere on the training ground and I think we can achieve big things in the future. I believe in this project and this club. I want to stay here.”
Pochettino added he had reached a verbal agreement regarding his two-year extension, which he believes will be confirmed in writing in the next few days.
When he took charge of Spurs in May 2014 he was the club’s fifth manager in seven years.
But he has brought a degree of stability to the club, promoting a crop of talented and young English players such as Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier while building a team that has taken Tottenham to the verge of qualification for the Champions League.
– ‘Massive potential’ –
Spurs are also due to move to a new 61,000 all-seater stadium in 2018/19 and Pochettino forecast an exciting future for the club.
“We started to speak before, a few months ago, and today I think is a good moment to communicate we have reached the verbal agreement,” Pochettino said.
“I am very happy. I wanted to stay for many reasons. Tottenham have unbelievable potential. We created after two years here a great group of players.
“We have a very strong squad, young, with potential to be a top team. The staff and the supporters are unbelievable, there is massive potential, why not stay here?”
Tottenham will be without Alli for the rest of the season after the England midfielder was given a three-game ban for punching West Bromwich Albion’s Claudio Yacob on Monday.
Pochettino urged the 20-year-old to learn from his error without sacrificing the aggression that is a natural part of his game.
“He has a very strong character and personality and for that he is one of the best players in England. We cannot change him but he made a mistake, everyone can make mistakes,” Pochettino said.
“It was an action that nobody feels proud of that but it is only a mistake, one mistake, a small mistake. He has paid for that and should learn from that.”