Tottenham refused to allow questions about Mauricio Pochettino being linked to the Manchester United manager’s job at a news conference on Thursday.
Pochettino has been tipped as the leading candidate to permanently replace Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appointed on an interim basis following the Portuguese’s departure.
The Argentinian manager insisted his sole focus was on Spurs when he faced the media on Tuesday and the club were unwilling to allow him to field similar questions ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash at Everton.
When a Sky Sports reporter attempted to ask a question relating to comments made by Les Reed, who was technical director at Southampton when Pochettino left the club for Tottenham in 2014, he was met with a swift rebuttal from Spurs’ head of communications Simon Felstein.
“We’ve gone over Manchester United and the manager before. Anything to do with Manchester United we’ve heard 48 hours ago. I’m not prepared to have another press conference dominated by this,” he said.
“Your man was here on Tuesday and asked the same questions, so I’m not prepared to have it again. So I’d ask you to move on.”
When the stance was questioned by the reporter, Felstein responded: “With respect I’m saying move it on. We invite you here to preview a football match and you’re coming in and you’re asking our manager about another job. I’m sorry.”
The Tottenham boss was seemingly entertained by the exchange and interjected with a humorous quip.
“You’re going to be the star of the press conference,” Pochettino told Felstein with a smile.
When it was put to Felstein the rumours would continue for months, he added: “Okay, fine. Let people speculate. We’re not having our press conferences dominated by it, there’s plenty else to talk about.”
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Debate programme, Reed said of Pochettino: “He was being courted when we were still playing games and he never lost his focus, worked just as hard. I think he’ll carry on doing that at Spurs.”
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