Mauricio Pochettino: Why the Tottenham boss arranged meeting with Manchester United great Sir Alex Ferguson

The pair were pictured leaving a restaurant in central London at lunchtime on Tuesday

Mark Critchley
Thursday 12 May 2016 07:58 BST
Ferguson went up against Pochettino's Southampton side during the 2012/13 season
Ferguson went up against Pochettino's Southampton side during the 2012/13 season (Getty)

Mauricio Pochettino arranged his meeting with the former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson himself and it was nothing more than a casual social engagement, it has been revealed.

The pair were pictured leaving a Mayfair restaurant together at lunchtime on Tuesday, sparking speculation that Pochettino could be in line to replace the under-pressure Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford.

Ferguson, who has remained at the club as a director since retiring from management in 2013, has voiced his admiration for the Tottenham Hotspur manager in the past and retains some influence in United’s boardroom.

According to the Press Association, however, Pochettino set-up the meeting of his own accord, having previously arranged to meet the Scot after speaking with him at a League Managers Association event.

Previous attempts to meet were cancelled due to other commitments but Pochettino, who has verbally agreed a new five-year deal at White Hart Lane, was determined to fulfil the arrangement on this occasion.

The 44-year-old Argentinian coach informed his employers that he would be lunching with Ferguson and as they met in central London, during the middle of the day, there was little attempt to keep their engagement under wraps.

After announcing his intention to stay on in north London last month and while discussing the benefits of longevity in management, Pochettino made specific reference to Ferguson.

"Sir Alex Ferguson is a very special person. He was given the security to build his legacy at Manchester United," he said. "But I believe we are special too and we can build it here together."

Ferguson’s admiration for Pochettino was revealed earlier this year by the Member of Parliament for Tottenham, David Lammy.

"About six weeks ago, I sat next to Sir Alex Ferguson at a dinner in support of grassroots football abroad,” Lammy revealed. “He said to me, 'I think you guys have got the best manager in the Premier League.' Alex Ferguson said that."

Hiddink falls into dugout after Chelsea Tottenham match

The Scot emerged victorious from his single meeting with Pochettino as a manager, defeating the Argentinian's Southampton side 2-1 at Old Trafford in January 2013.

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