Jaw-dropping news out of Spain today, after Spanish football expert Guillem Balaque revealed that Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino actually turned down an approach from Real Madrid this summer.
The then manager Zinedine Zidane decided to step down just days after winning his third consecutive Champions League trophy at the club.
Real Madrid were given little warning of their star mans departure, and were left scrambling for a replacement.
The likes of Pochettino, Maurizio Sarri, Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte were all linked with the job, but Balaque now claims that Poch actually turned it down.
He said: “Real Madrid went for Lopetegui not because he was their manager of choice but because the likes of Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino and Juve’s Massimiliano Allegri had turned them down.
“In came agent Jorge Mendes suggesting Lopetegui for the role. It was only when Rubiales started to receive a whole heap of criticism from all and sundry that the mood – particularly the president’s – changed.
“Yes, Lopetegui could certainly have handled it better, perhaps telling Madrid to wait until after the competition before talking to them.
“Madrid could hardly have handled it worse – except of course they could not care less because as far as they were concerned they were just doing what they wanted to in the best interests of the club.
“President Florentino Perez did not want to appoint a failing national manager. Far better to have a sacked one before the tournament could evaluate his worth.
“If this sounds to you like a football version of House of Cards, well, that’s because it basically is. Big personalities, secret conversations, sneaky behaviour, and so on.”
Real eventually appointed the Spain manager Julen Lopetegul, which cost him his national job on the very eve of the Russia World Cup.
Pochettino on the other hand signed a brand new contract with Spurs, committing his future to the club.
Despite being unhappy that their manager was approached by such a big club, Spurs supporters will be thrilled at the prospect that Pochettino actually turned down the biggest job in club football to remain in North London.
Poch insists that he is at Spurs to see through a long-term project, of which they are currently ahead of schedule.
How grateful are you to have Poch on board, Spurs fans?
Have something to tell us about this article?