Gary Neville Claims Tottenham Could Have ‘Real Problem’ if Real Madrid Target Mauricio Pochettino

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville believes Tottenham could have a problem if Real Madrid want to appoint Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager following the sacking of Julen Lopetegui.

Former Spain boss Lopetegui was dismissed on Monday after a 5-1 Clasico defeat on Sunday, with Los Blancos ninth in La Liga and off to their worst league start since 2001/02, and Pochettino has been heavily linked with the Spanish giants in recent years.

Following Spurs’ 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Monday, Neville revealed on Sky Sports that they could be in for a tough time should Real Madrid want Pochettino.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League

He said: “The next level is available at arguably the greatest club in the world of football in ​Real Madrid. 

“That’s where the manager might be thinking ‘is this the time for me to step out?’ I think Tottenham, if Real Madrid want him, will have a real problem in the next few days.

“If you’re Real Madrid and thinking ‘Where can I get a manager, where’s the next manager?’ He speaks Spanish and has been a coach in La Liga. That is an appealing job for anybody in world football.” 

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League

Pochettino has a net spend of just £29m in the last four seasons and his side failed to sign a single player during the summer transfer window.

Neville added: “Mauricio Pochettino is a brilliant coach but at some point he was always going to manage one of the super clubs in Europe. 

“There are a couple at the moment that you can imagine will be changing manager in the next 12 months and looking at him, and he will know they are looking at him.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League

“It feels to me that he has laid the first foundations of a move away from the club and started to prepare the ground.”

Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and interim manager Santiago Solari are thought to be among the favourites to replace Lopetegui at the Bernabeu.