Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has cooled speculation that he could be Real Madrid’s next manager.

The Spanish giants are seemingly plotting their next dugout move despite having only drafted Carlo Ancelotti in over the summer, and have been impressed by the Argentine.

Pochettino has ushered in a new era of success in Hampshire, easing young players into the starting XI and keeping his side in the hunt for European qualification while playing an attractive style of football.

With previous experience in La Liga as Espanyol’s manager, the South American is respected in Spain, and is rumoured to be a candidate for the Real job, should it become available.

Pochettino – whose contract is up at the end of the season – says that it is flattering to be linked with a club of Los Blancos’ stature, but that he does not pay attention to such speculation:

“I am not one to speak about rumours or unrealistic things so I have no comment on this,” he is quoted by Sky Sports.

“It is very flattering for Southampton as a football club and it is also very flattering for our players, they are the ones on the pitch making us so great.

“I also don’t like to talk about the future – I am not one to talk about the long-term future.

“Real Madrid are an amazing club, a great club, and you never know what could happen in football.

“But at the moment I am really happy at Southampton.”

The rumours have been further fuelled by off-field issues at Southampton following the exit of influential chairman Nicola Cortese.

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