Soccer-Pochettino swerves straight questions on Southampton future


SOUTHAMPTON, England, May 9 (Reuters) - Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino said little on Friday to ease Saints fans' fears he would leave the south coast after Sunday's final match of the season for a club with deeper pockets.

The Argentine, who has led Southampton to their best Premier League points tally (55 from 37 matches), still has one year left on this contract.

But his assured performance in steering the side to an eighth-placed finish in the English top flight has attracted admiring glances from suitors and Tottenham have been linked with a move for the former Espanyol manager.

"I am not the person to be talking about that," was all Pochettino would say when quizzed about the speculation.

"There is an owner of the club, there is a chairman of the club and I am just a football manager," he told local media.

"I don't think you can live in fear of the future. I think that what is important right now is to enjoy this moment. To enjoy the present and this amazing season we have had.

"I think Sunday is a very good chance to create an amazing atmosphere and in the future, things will be spoken about."

Southampton host Manchester United on Sunday for their season-finale. The club are also braced for raids on their leading players who are expected to feature for England at the World Cup.

Skipper Adam Lallana and full back Luke Shaw appear to be the hottest targets for the biggest clubs in England and would find it hard to reject an offer of Champions League soccer next season.

The Saints are nearing the end of a five-year project put in place by previous executive chairman Nicola Cortese when the club came out of administration.

Pochettino will want to hear what the next step is for the Saints before deciding his next move.

"This Sunday when the season ends against Manchester United a project of five years will have come to an end," he told BBC South Today.

"The club overall needs to explain to me what this new project is going to consist of and how it is going to start next season."

Enigmatic to the end, the 42-year-old dodged the straight question of whether or not the United game would be a farewell for him and some players, telling Southampton's Daily Echo: "We always (say) goodbye because we finish a chapter and we start a new chapter." (Writing by Ossian Shine; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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