Poch: 'Dealing with Levy is easy'
Mauricio Pochettino insists he enjoys working with Daniel Levy despite the Tottenham chairman's long-earned reputation. Manchester United great Alex Ferguson infamously described doing business with Levy as "more painful than my hip replacement" after he signed Dimitar Berbatov for Spurs in September 2008. That was the last time the two clubs, who meet at Wembley on Sunday, did business – a situation many expect to change over the coming months, with Pochettino reportedly sought as the long-term successor to Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.
Spurs are 10 points ahead of United in the Premier League table despite not spending during the previous transfer window. Pochettino has suggested over recent weeks that his club need to show greater ambition in the market but maintains his relationship with Levy is not a stressful one. Responding to a question about Ferguson's observations, the he told reporters: "For me, it's the opposite. For me, if there was one person that was easy to do business with, it was Daniel. Historically, other [Spurs] managers were the opponent of Daniel, they always fight with him! I think it’s only me maybe that has a good relationship with him."
Pochettino signed a new five-year contract at Spurs last May, the terms of which are likely to be of interest to United and Real Madrid, and he feels that negotiation was a tougher on Levy than himself. "For me, it was not difficult, I think it was more difficult for him than me," he said. "It was difficult because I am the manager and he cannot upset me. If we are talking about extending a contract or giving me more money, you need to be careful. With agents, you can talk very openly and say anything you want and the agent will manage the situation. But when you are talking directly to your manager, you need to be careful because one word can change the negotiation or change your mind."
"For him, that was new and it was tough every time he needed to talk to me." Pochettino added: "For me, I negotiate harder when I am talking about my staff. They deserve a lot of credit. I am tougher when I talk about them because I feel a massive responsibility when I talk about them because they depend on me."