Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has ridiculed speculation he will quit after Sunday’s north London derby.
Rumours have circulated on social media that Pochettino will walk away from his position after the match at Arsenal, leading to some bookmakers no longer taking bets on him becoming the next Premier League manager to leave his job.
Pochettino has cut an unhappy figure during the first few weeks of the season, owing to the unsettled nature of his squad caused by the late closure of the European transfer window and some flat performances.
But the Argentinian in his sixth campaign is just one year into a five-year deal and branded the rumours “stupid”.
“What can I say about a stupid rumour? After five years, now I start the sixth and you know how we work in the summer to try to rebuild and update,” he said. “Summer 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 – now we are 6.0. The new version.
“That stupidity can only happen through some rumours on social media that create a big, big problem that doesn’t exist.
“I’m not going to walk away after the north London derby. I’m going to be here Monday and Tuesday.
“My plan is to travel – I don’t want to say where – and then Friday again to London, meeting with Daniel (Levy). We’re going to watch some national team games live, and then Monday preparing for the new week.
“I’m not the type of person who sends messages through social. Did you bet? It’s closed now, eh? You lost your money!”
Pochettino revealed that he met with chairman Levy on Thursday night for clear-the-air talks after some apparent tension between the two and said it was a positive experience.
“We talked about everything,” Pochettino added. “We needed to have a conversation last week and this week the same, it was very positive, the most important thing is to help the club and the team perform and be on the same page.
“How important the communication is, and to communicate in a good place always helps.
“Nothing has changed in our personal relationship. Sometimes our vision in the professional side cannot be the same or sometimes can have some disagreement.
“But the most important thing is the personal relationship is still strong.
“This morning he showed me a picture that we took on the last day at White Hart Lane where we are together with our coaching staff and his family and he said, ‘Look, our personal relationship is still there’.
“But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have some disagreements in our professional vision but the most important thing is we care about the club, we care about the fans and the team and we do the best thing for the club.”
Pochettino’s main gripe has come from the fact the European transfer window shuts three weeks after the English one, leaving him in limbo while the future of a number of his players are resolved.
Christian Eriksen, Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen, Victor Wanyama, Toby Alderweireld and Serge Aurier have all been subject to speculation, but Pochettino is not aware of any possible movements, with three days of the window remaining.
He said: “Today I was talking with all the players, I didn’t hear anything from them or the club. No news…good news.”
Spurs have selection issues for the trip to the Emirates Stadium as record signing Tanguy Ndombele is missing with a thigh strain.
There are serious problems at right-back as Kyle Walker-Peters and Juan Foyth are out, while possible makeshift replacement Eric Dier is a doubt with a hip injury.
Spurs’ patchy start to the campaign led to pundit Paul Merson suggesting they are in “disarray” and expects Arsenal to win comfortably.
That did not go unnoticed by Pochettino, who had a cutting reply to a question about which former Arsenal player he would have liked to play with.
He said: “I would love to play against Paul Merson, so I could kick.”