Next Real Madrid manager: Mauricio Pochettino refuses to rule out leaving Tottenham just days after new contract

Madrid president Florentino Perez has made Pochettino his number one choice to replace Zinedine Zidane who announced he was stepping down on Thursday

Zinedine Zidane announces he is leaving Real Madrid

Mauricio Pochettino has opened the door to leaving Tottenham by suggesting that "when Real Madrid call you, you have to listen".

Madrid president Florentino Perez has made Pochettino his number one choice to replace Zinedine Zidane after the three-time Champions League winner announced his shock resignation on Thursday.

Perez has admired Pochettino for some time but this summer is readying a serious push to bring him to the Santiago Bernabeu, and is not thought to be considering any other choices for the role.

It is understood any advance from Real would be firmly rejected by Tottenham but despite insisting he is "happy" in north London Pochettino appears to be open to a move to the Spanish capital.

“I live in the present, there is nothing more important than this. I enjoy what is happening and what has to be, will be," he told Spanish newspaper AS.

“[Former coach] Jorge Griffa told me once that I have to let football take me wherever, to not get bogged down in trying to change my own destiny.“

Pochettino also confirmed to the newspaper that, as The Independent reported on Thursday, he does not have any release clause in the new five-year deal he signed with Tottenham last week.

“When Real Madrid call you, you have to listen to them. Although in this case it doesn’t depend on me. I have just signed a long contract with Tottenham and I am very happy here," he added.

“I am happy at Tottenham because they let me work and we are growing together. Right now I want to focus on planning for next season and keep out of all the things that are being said. There will be lots of rumours, lots of things said, but I have no news from Real Madrid.

“I’m working very comfortably at Tottenham and it’s my obligation to focus on that. I do not want, nor can I, comment on Zidane going but what he has done is undoubtedly very big: no one has won three Champions Leagues in a row recently.”

Pochettino only signed a new deal at Tottenham a week ago

Before signing his new deal Pochettino’s future had been one of the long-running stories of Tottenham’s season. He achieved notable success against Real in the Champions League group stage, earning a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu before Spurs famously beat Real 3-1 at Wembley.

He has been showered with attention by the Spanish media and when asked about the possibility of him replacing Zidane, has said that “you never know what is going to happen in football”. He has only said that he would never manage Barcelona or Arsenal.

At the end of the season Pochettino had left his future up in the air, speculating on the club’s future with another manager, and calling on the club to “be brave and take risks”.

But after positive talks with the club hierarchy Pochettino did sign a new contract, promising the start of a positive summer transfer window with Spurs keen to invest in improving the squad, even with Toby Alderweireld, Mousa Dembele and Danny Rose up for sale.

But Tottenham’s summer is now likely to be dominated by the biggest club in the world pursuing their manager like never before, meaning it will take all of Daniel Levy’s resolve to rebuff them.

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