Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has emphatically dismissed links with Manchester United by signing a new two-year contract extension at White Hart Lane. The new deal sees the Argentine coach contracted in north London until 2021 and marks a major reward for an impressive two years in charge.
After guiding the club to fifth in his first season at the helm, Pochettino's second campaign has been far more fruitful, inspiring a surprise bid for the Premier League title – which was eventually won by Leicester City – and earning qualification for next season's Champions League. The promotion and trust in several English-based younger players – including Harry Kane and Dele Alli – has also been widely praised, as has a style of play that sees Spurs regarded as one of the fittest clubs in the division.
A delay to Pochettino agreeing a new deal with Spurs, coupled with a recent meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson and uncertainty over the future of Louis van Gaal, had fuelled speculation over a potential move to Old Trafford. The Sun understood that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was monitoring the future of Pochettino, but those overtures are now set to end.
The prospect of moving into a new 61,000-seater stadium for the start of the 2018/19 season, plus the potential of Tottenham's young squad, meant Pochettino had no hesitation over committing his future, despite rumoured interest from United. His backroom team of Jesús Pérez, Miguel D'Agostino and Toni Jiménez have also been retained.
"I could not be happier to sign this new contract," Pochettino said, according to Tottenham's Twitter page. "It was an easy decision for my coaching staff and because we can feel the appreciation of everyone here there is no better place to be right now.
"The supporters are unbelievable; we have assembled a great group of players with huge potential that can get even better, while the facilities we have to work in are world-class. We also have an incredible new stadium to look forward to and now are determined to build a side worth of playing in such an exciting new venue.
"We have enjoyed a great season and we believe this is just the beginning. We have a long-term project and huge belief that we can achieve something big here for the future. The club has all the ingredients to continue to challenge at the very top in both the Premier League and in Europe and we want to be here to be a part of what I believe will be a special period in the club's history."
Chairman Daniel Levy added: "We've seen Mauricio bring a tremendous spirit and ethos to our club and embrace the attacking style of play with which we have always been associated. He's built a squad of youth and experience and this season we've seen football played at the highest level – quite sublime at times. Everyone at the club is delighted he has agreed an extended contract and we all look forward to working him in the coming seasons. I know he is as ambitious as we all are."