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Pochettino's sticking with Saints

16 Jan 2014 17:01:52

Pochettino's sticking with Saints

Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed he will be staying with Southampton as manager.

The Argentinian's future has been cast into the spotlight after the resignation of executive chairman and close ally Nicola Cortese.

He left the club on Wednesday and, with Pochettino having previously said he would leave if Cortese did, it remained to be seen if he could carry out his threat.

But Pochettino faced the media on Thursday afternoon and claimed a change in situation meant he would not be leaving.

"I want to show my gratitude to Nicola Cortese. I believed in him, he brought me here, my staff and my family. I am full of gratitude to him," he said.

"Eight months ago when this happened we were finishing my first season and I did say that if he left there would be no sense for me to stay.

"The new situation is different. We are in the middle of our new project. Nicola knows of my decision to stay; I have spoken to him. I am fully committed to the staff, the players, the club and it would make no sense to leave in the middle of our path."

The Barclays Premier League outfit announced in a statement on Wednesday night that Cortese's resignation had been accepted and that their owner Katharina Liebherr had taken on the role of non-executive chairman, with the search having begun for a new chief executive officer.

Cortese's departure has thrown the future of stars like Luke Shaw into doubt.

But Pochettino vowed no player will leave the club during the January transfer window without his authority.

"I want to make one thing clear: no-one is for sale at Southampton, no-one," he said.

"And I believe the same thing. No player that I don't want to leave will leave this club."

Pochettino said he wants to honour the remaining 17 months of his Southampton contract, although he admitted it is too soon to say for sure at this point whether that will happen.

"It's very hard to say at the moment, I think it's very soon to say about that," said Pochettino.

"But when I signed with Nicola, and we signed a number of players, I'm 100 per cent committed to the two years of my contract and I'm 100 per cent committed to those players.

"I have a contract and a responsibility to that."

Pochettino said new chairman Liebherr has given him and his staff her full backing.

The 41-year-old said he expects Liebherr to appoint someone to handle transfers specifically, as she searches for a chief executive officer to replace Cortese.

"I met her for five minutes today," Pochettino said. "She told me we have her full support, she wants the club to be stable, and that we need to look forward to the future.

"It's still too soon to talk about this (who deals with transfers), we will see in the future how the tasks are unfolded at this club, who does what at this club.

"I'm sure the club will designate a person to speak to about all of that."

Revealing Cortese backed his decision to stay at the club, Pochettino said he does not know exactly why the executive chairman resigned.

"What's quite clear is I have a very good relationship with Nicola Cortese," he said. "He agrees with my decision to stay and there's nothing more I can say about that right now.

"He only asked me for one thing and that's to try to win on Saturday.

"I don't know (why he decided to leave), it's quite difficult to say, I found out yesterday as you did about his decision.

"Of course it has surprised me quite a bit, the same as the people involved with this club, and I knew nothing about his departure."

Manchester City are among clubs being linked with a big-money offer for teenage defender Shaw.

But Pochettino said he is not aware of any official bids.

He added: "It's clear that Luke Shaw has a contract, and that's a question for the new chairman."


PA

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