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Pochettino rules out Barcelona due to Espanyol link

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has ruled out a switch to Barcelona

LONDON, United Kingdom, Mar 30 – Mauricio Pochettino has suggested he cannot manage Barcelona because he is an Espanyol fan, claiming it would be like leaving Tottenham to join Arsenal.

Pochettino has been linked with the job at the Nou Camp, with Luis Enrique confirming he will leave the Catalan side in the summer, and the Spurs boss was the subject of more rumours after he was reportedly seen with Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu during the international break.

However, Pochettino insists he bumped into Bartomeu by coincidence and appeared to rule out a move to Barcelona in the future because of the affection he still holds for Espanyol, having played for and managed the club, and compared such a scenario with taking over at Arsenal, which he called “impossible”.

He said: “It was a coincidence in a bar in Barcelona last Tuesday because I’ve known him [Bartomeu] for a long time [since] before he became chairman of Barcelona and, you know, many people around us saw us and said hello.

“We spent five minutes together but that was the reality and, you know, the rumours after are impossible to stop.

“But I am an Espanyol supporter and I think I don’t need to say too much. It’s like if one day Daniel Levy sacked me after a few years, for me it would be impossible to manage Arsenal.

“I think in football, sometimes, I know that it is so difficult to keep values and to be loyal with your heart and your emotions but, for me, before being a manager, before being a player, being loyal is more important to be honest and I am an Espanyol fan.

“I love Espanyol and like now Tottenham for me, it would be impossible one day to move to Arsenal. It would be impossible.”

-By Sky Sports-