• Premier League

Pochettino urged to snub Tottenham by Cortese

ESPN staff
May 21, 2014
Mauricio Pochettino threatened to leave Southampton after Nicola Cortese stepped down as chairman © AP

Nicola Cortese, the former Southampton chairman, has warned Mauricio Pochettino that he could damage his career prospects by leaving St Mary's for Tottenham this summer.

Pochettino has been linked with the vacant manager's role at White Hart Lane and is described as "rightly" ambitious by Cortese, who believes that the Argentinian may not yet be ready for his next move.

"Often we have maybe seen people take too quick a step which ultimately backfires," Cortese told BBC Sport.

"But he has to make his own decision. He is a young manager. He has plenty of time to have a great career."

Cortese, bought the club on behalf of the late Markus Liebherr, a Swiss investor, in 2009 before leaving in January 2014 - a year after he appointed Pochettino to take over from Nigel Adkins.

Pochettino threatened to leave the club following Cortese's departure but stayed on for the remainder of the season, leading Southampton to eighth in the Premier League.

"I don't know what has happened since I left, so it is difficult for me to judge whether he potentially wants to leave or whether the offer from another club is really that good," Cortese said.

"But he is ambitious, and rightly so. When you plan a career it is important to make the right decision at the right time."

Cortese also urged the club to break its habit of selling on star players such as Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw, who are being coveted by a number of leading Premier League clubs.

"We created those talents," Cortese added. "It was key to keep them. You don't produce them just to sell - otherwise you give away your ambition.

"I knew the players themselves wanted to stick together because this vision was something they believed in, too. I didn't see any reason for them to go."

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