Date: 12th January 2019 at 7:30am
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Paul Merson has claimed Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino “talks in riddles” about his future amid intense speculation about marquee-club interest.

Writing in the Daily Star, the high-profile pundit questioned Pochettino’s media conference claim this week that he could even end up spending the next two decades at Spurs.

This comes amid reports Manchester United and Real Madrid are willing to pay £50million to buy him out of his Tottenham contract.

“I hear Pochettino talk about spending 20 years at Tottenham but he talks in riddles,” Merson said. “He knows they can’t spend money because of the stadium.

“I still think he would take the United job if they offer it to him and I think they should. Is there a better candidate out there?

“He has built that team without a whole lot of money and they are in there competing every year with teams who have massively outspent them. That’s what United need. They need someone capable of building something long-lasting.”

OPINION

You can bet your life Spurs fans won’t appreciate any sort of criticism of their manager from a man with Arsenal connections as strong as Merson. However, there is certainly a sense of Pochettino talking for the sake of talking when it comes to speculation about his position at Tottenham and his future. Media conferences of interminable length have been dominated by chat about how he views Spurs’ present position and where the club might progress to in the future. Certainly, talk about spending the next two decades at the new White Hart Lane is nonsense. Pochettino probably only said it as a throwaway line, but he has been playing the media game for long enough to know the impact his words have. That said, the diplomatic Argentine must be getting sick to death of answering questions about his future, even though the speculation strengthens his negotiating position and must be wonderful for his ego.