Mauricio Pochettino accepts Hugo Lloris is eager to play UEFA Champions League football, but believes he wants to do so for Tottenham Hotspur.
Lloris has tasted life in Europe’s premier club competition for previous club Lyon, but has yet to repeat this since leaving the Ligue 1 club to link up with Tottenham in the summer of 2012. The White Hart Lane outfit finished a point behind fourth-place Arsenal in his debut season, whilst last term they finished in sixth position and this time round they are also off the pace.
Despite some early promise Pochettino’s side are seven points adrift of a Champions League berth with just five matches left to play, and this has cast huge question marks over their ability to keep Lloris beyond the end of the campaign. But the goalkeeper signed a new five-year contract just last July, and the Spurs coach firmly expects the 28-year-old to remain at the club.
“Nothing has changed from four, five or six months ago, when we last spoke about the rumour,” said Pochettino. “Hugo Lloris wants to play the Champions League here for Tottenham and everything else is just rumours. Nothing is true and nothing has changed with the situation. He is happy here and wants to reach the Champions League with Tottenham; that is his dream.”
It has been suggested that Manchester United might turn to Lloris if they are forced to sell David de Gea to Real Madrid; on the other hand, if the Bernabeu club fail to lure the former Atletico Madrid ace from Old Trafford, it is claimed they will target the Spurs star. The latter option would be a particular kick in the teeth having lost Gareth Bale to the Spaniards two years ago.
Is Pochettino kidding himself if he expects Lloris to remain at Spurs without Champions League football, especially if United or Real make a bid for his signature this summer?