Jovial Pochettino ‘can’t change’ Real Madrid rumours

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is paying little thought to Real Madrid, saying his refusal to indulge rumours keeps him looking young.

Mauricio Pochettino denied having knowledge of fresh reports linking him with Real Madrid as he joked ignorance is best for dealing with speculation.

Rumours of Madrid’s interest in the former Espanyol boss have resurfaced ahead of a potentially pivotal weekend for the under-pressure Julen Lopetegui.

Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is tipped to take over the European champions in the event Lopetegui fails to save his job in the Clasico clash with Barcelona on Sunday.

Pochettino appears a far more unlikely successor after signing a five-year extension with Tottenham in May and the 46-year-old laughed off the links.

“Because I’m in a different country my English is not so good and I don’t follow the media too much,” the Spurs boss said.

“It’s compulsory to know before coming here [for news conferences] and in two minutes it’s explained to me what’s happening and I’m always surprised.

“I don’t have social media, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, nothing. I don’t receive information. That’s why my head, my face, looks younger than I really am.

“These things happen in football. You cannot change anything. It’s normal in this business.”

Pochettino’s present focus is on preparing Tottenham for Monday’s meeting with Manchester City in the Premier League.

Hugo Lloris’ performance will be closely scrutinised after the goalkeeper was shown a straight red card in the midweek Champions League draw away to PSV.

He was dismissed for a foul outside the box that bore similarities to an error against Barcelona earlier this month, but the captain continues to have his manager’s backing.

“He didn’t play against Watford and Inter, and we lose those games,” Pochettino said. “We have short memories in football.

“In football it’s sometimes good, sometimes not so good, but for me Hugo is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.”

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