Mauricio Pochettino is not expecting Hugo Lloris to go anywhere after the Tottenham captain told him he wants to help bring Champions League football back to White Hart Lane.
It is three years since the France skipper swapped Lyon for north London, penning a four-year deal after arriving in a deal that could reach £11.9million.
Upon signing, Lloris spoke of his confidence that Spurs could qualify for the Champions League, but three managers and three seasons on they have yet to do so.
The 28-year-old, who last summer extended his deal to 2019, has made no secret of his desire to return to European football’s elite competition, but Pochettino does not worry that desire could see him push for a move to Manchester United.
“There are a lot of rumours,” the Spurs head coach said. “Hugo is very happy to be here.
“His commitment with the club is high. I think we need to be happy because if Manchester United want Lloris, it’s because he’s a great goalkeeper.
“We have a very good goalkeeper, but Hugo has a contract here and he is happy here and he wants to get success here.”
Put to Pochettino that Lloris has stated his desire to play Champions League football, he retorted: “Yes, but keen to play in the Champions League with Tottenham, not with another club.
“He told me that ‘I want to play in the Champions League with Tottenham’. After in the interview, I don’t know.”
Pochettino has not spoken to Lloris about staying at Spurs – “you don’t need to convince him to stay because he has a four-year contract” – and rejected the notion that he may have missed the season opener due to the talk over his future.
The Spurs boss insisted the goalkeeper started from the bench as he was recovering from a fractured wrist, unlike United’s want-away goalkeeper David de Gea.
“No, no, no,” he said. “I didn’t take this decision because of all the rumours that happened. No, no, no. Hugo wasn’t ready.
“Maybe if the game last week was Stoke City, he wouldn’t play, the same decision.”
“I think that you misunderstand me. It is not about the injury. The player is not only one or two hands, one or two legs. It is about all. For me, he wasn’t fit to play 90 minutes.”
Lloris is fit to replace back-up Michel Vorm in goal against Stoke on Saturday, when he will wear the captain’s armband.
Pochettino confirmed the France international has succeeded Younes Kaboul as skipper, making him the third permanent Spurs captain since arriving nearly 15 months ago.
Kaboul joined Sunderland this summer and Michael Dawson moved to Hull last year, with the Spurs boss laughing when the trend of captain’s leaving each summer was pointed out to him.
“It is Hugo,” he said after saying the exit were merely a “co-incidence”. “Jan Vertonghen and Harry Kane are the vice-captains.
“It was common sense. I think that Hugo deserves to be the captain and after we have Jan Vertonghen, Harry Kane. It’s a good reference for the group. It’s a very good mix.”
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