Zinedine Zidane’s press conference seat was still warm when several news outlets in Spain jumped on the Mauricio Pochettino train and started throwing coal in the fire.
First up was Mundo Deportivo, claiming an exit clause, and others, including Marca, suggested the same before backtracking.
After a day of mass panic in Spain’s sport media rooms, this is what is being said in Friday’s newspapers.
Starting with the usual perceived villain of the piece, the Spanish newspaper has a claim on their Friday front page reading: ‘Madrid has already contacted Pochettino’
Inside it’s stated: ‘Call to Pochettino – Real Madrid did not waste time. Zidane’s departure was barely digested, and the club went to work in search of his replacement. The first call was for Mauricio Pochettino. Madrid contacted him yesterday, confirming that the Argentine is the main option to take over from Zizou, as reported repeatedly by Marca.’
That doesn’t mean Pochettino is the only target, Marca say Madrid’s position isn’t yet firm and there were ‘intense’ meetings at the club yesterday to try and form a plan of action.
Chelsea are said to have offered Tottenham £30m for the manager, but that only led to a renewal.
Marca then add: ‘There is no clause in the new contract that frees Mauricio in case of an offer from Real Madrid. However, given the good understanding and loyalty between the institution and its coach, as long as it is not a Premier League team, Levy should be willing to negotiate the departure of Mauricio.’
Harry Kane is briefly touched upon and it’s claimed he ‘would only consider leaving London to accompany Pochettino’.
The other Madrid leaning daily Sport newspaper has their coverage carried by Guillem Balague, with a page which is partly dedicated to pushing the Pochettino biography the journalist has recently published in Spanish.
Balague states: ‘Madrid has a cast of coaches to choose from, but there is one that already has all possible references: Mauricio Pochettino. Florentino Perez has been collecting information about the Tottenham manager for months. In fact, he already entered the president’s radar while at Espanyol.’
The article ends with: ‘The London club are clear: there is no clause or verbal agreement to let him out if Real Madrid knocks on his door.’
The Barcelona based newspaper has it differently and they further push home their Thursday claim of a release clause: ‘Mauricio Pochettino is the coach who starts from pole position to take charge of the team. The Argentine, current coach of Tottenham, recently renewed his contract with the ‘spurs’ until June 2023, which usually would be an almost insurmountable obstacle for Real Madrid.
‘However, as announced by Francesc Aguilar, ‘Poche’ negotiated the inclusion of a clause in the new contract that allows him to leave London if it is Real Madrid who knocks on his door. After the departure of Zidane, this could be the case.’
The other Catalan leaning sport newspaper present Pochettino as the ‘grand candidate’ and say it’s an opportunity the Tottenham manager has always dreamed of.
‘When Mauricio Pochettino assured at the beginning of the year that before training Barça he would return to his farm in Argentina, he knew perfectly well that those statements would make him a main alternative to Zinedine Zidane on the blanco bench.’
And then the clause claim: ‘Pochettino renewed with Tottenham a week ago. The Argentine signed until 2023, which under normal conditions should move him away from Real Madrid. But the technician, already thinking about a possible exit, included in his new contract a freedom clause of €7m in case the blancos or PSG came for him. The last option is ruled out, as the Parisians opted for Thomas Tuchel.’
The internet news platform, with a more broadsheet style, has been relatively good on big Madrid business and they say: ‘The name that sounds loudest at this time is Mauricio Pochettino , which is Florentino Perez’s greatest wish, although he is recently renewed by Tottenham (and without a clause to be released if Madrid asks).’