Mauricio Pochettino has dismissed suggestions Harry Kane could join Real Madrid by claiming the striker can be Tottenham’s Francesco Totti.
Pochettino also brushed off his own links to Spain, reiterating he could never manage Barcelona because of his past with Espanyol, while adding he would sign a 15-year contract at Spurs if he could.
Tottenham take on Real Madrid in the Champions League tonight, with two of their former heroes, Gareth Bale, who is out with a calf injury, and Luka Modric, now in the colours of the opposition.
But Pochettino believes Kane, who came through the club’s academy, is more akin to Totti.
Totti played all 24 years of his professional career at Roma, after also starting out there as a teenager, before bidding an emotional farewell earlier this year.
“The most important thing is that Harry is happy at Tottenham and in the future who knows where we’ll be?” Pochettino said.
“But he enjoys Tottenham, he comes from the academy, he identifies with the club. Only football knows the future.
“For me, he’s a player who likes scoring, he loves the Tottenham shirt and was excited when he saw Totti’s farewell in Rome and that created extra motivation.
“He was so emotional when he saw the last game of Totti for Roma, only playing at one club, maybe Harry Kane can have the same career as Totti.”
Pochettino’s own roots lie with Espanyol, where he spent six years and played over 200 times as a player, before returning to the club for his first stint in management.
His time at Espanyol has prompted him to rule out managing Catalan rivals Barcelona in the future while Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has said he wants Pochettino to stay for 15 years.
“It’s up to him,” Pochettino said.
“Always it is up to the owner or chairman to decide if you’re a manager for a short time or long period.
“I’m so happy. I enjoy my time at Tottenham, it’s a club with big potential, new stadium and facilities which will be best in Europe. And at the same time, to be a competitive team and win a trophy.
“But I am happy to hear Daniel is being so kind to me, telling everyone what to expect.
“It’s impossible, I could not train Barcelona, for many reasons we shouldn’t get deep into. I hope I stay 10 to 15 years at Tottenham. If he wants I would love to sign that contract.”
Tottenham and Madrid are the early front-runners in Group H, having taken maximum points from their opening two games while Borussia Dortmund and Apoel Nicosia are yet to get off the mark.
Pochettino has a problem, however, at left-back with Ben Davies still too ill even to travel and Danny Rose short of match fitness following almost nine months out with a knee injury.
It means Jan Vertonghen could fill in on the left side of a back four or, if Pochettino prefers to play with wing-backs, Kieran Trippier and Son Heung-min have played that role in the past.
Mousa Dembele, meanwhile, is pushing for a start, having recovered from an ankle problem.
“To play from the start, no, maybe on the bench,” Pochettio said on Rose.
“He’s doing well. He’s excited and motivated and happy. It’s good for him and for the group, to be involved, like Mousa Dembele, too.”
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