Real Madrid have issued a strong statement to reject Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino’s apparent claim that his side were denied permission to stay at their training ground ahead of the Champions League final.
Spurs will use the Valdebebas training complex next week ahead of the final against Liverpool, which takes place at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium in the Spanish capital.
But Pochettino spoke on Thursday to say that a request to stay at the training ground’s hotel – which is used by Zinedine Zidane’s side during the Spanish season – was denied by Madrid president Florentino Perez himself.
The claim has triggered a fierce response from Madrid, who claim that Pochttino is lying about the request to stay on the grounds and that all requests that they received in the lead up to the Champions League final have been accepted.
A statement read: “Real Madrid CF is surprised by the comments made by the coach of Tottenham Hotspur, Mauricio Pochettino, about a supposed request made to our club so that his team could stay in the residence of the Real Madrid City on the occasion of the final of the Champions League.
“Real Madrid CF wants to make it clear that it is outright false that this request was made. Our club has always shown its absolute availability to meet all the requests made by Uefa, the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Club Atlético de Madrid, Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur.
“All requests submitted to Real Madrid have referred only and exclusively to the use of the training camps of the Ciudad Real Madrid and its changing rooms. And all of them have been granted by our club.
“Thus, Liverpool plan to train at our facilities on Saturday, June 1 in the morning. Tottenham, for its part, will do so on Thursday, May 30 and Friday, May 31.
“Real Madrid CF also wants to emphasise that the accommodation of the finalist teams of the Champions League are assigned by Uefa following criteria of organisation and security. And that at no time has our club been requested that these teams could be accommodated in the facilities of Ciudad Real Madrid.”
The feud could damage Pochettino’s relationship with Madrid, who he has been strongly linked with managing in the future if and when he leaves Tottenham.
Speaking to El Partidazo de Cope this week, Pochettino said: "Ahead of the final, we will train at Valdebebas and sleep in a nearby hotel.
"I asked Florentino to let us sleep in the sports centre, but he told me that I can only sleep there when I become the coach of Real Madrid."
The incident is made all the more bizarre given that Pochettino’s words appeared to carry little weight to them in that the Argentine was almost certainly joking, given that any communication between the two clubs about such a request is unlikely to have been fronted by the Tottenham manager and Madrid president.
But by issuing a firm statement on the matter, it appears Madrid are not happy with Pochettino’s words. With Tottenham focussing on their first Champions league final appearance next Saturday, the incident comes as an unwanted distraction, particularly given that the two clubs will come into contact when Spurs arrive in Madrid next week.