Mauricio Pochettino has suggested that he would never take the Barcelona job, claiming that it would be like quitting Tottenham to take charge at Arsenal.
The 45-year-old has been touted as a possible successor to Luis Enrique, who is to step down when his contract expires at the end of the season.
I’m an Espanyol supporter – I think then I don’t need to speak too much,” Pochettino, who won two Copas del Rey as a player before becoming head coach of the club in 2009, told a news conference.
“It is like one day if [Spurs chairman] Daniel Levy sacks me in a few years, for me it would be impossible to manage Arsenal.
“In football it is difficult to keep values like loyalty but, to me, loyalty and honesty come before being a manager or a player. I am an Espanyol fan and I love Espanyol. Now I am at Tottenham it would be impossible for me to move to Arsenal one day.”
Asked about the meeting with Bartomeu, he added: “It was a coincidence in a bar in Barcelona last Tuesday. I have known him for a long time, before he became president of Barcelona. There were many people around us.
“We said hello, we spent five minutes together but that was the reality. You know that after that it is impossible to stop the rumours.”