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Pochettino wants to become Tottenham's Alex Ferguson

SoccerBy Sunday World
Ferguson is an admirer of Pochettino
Ferguson is an admirer of Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino believes he can be Tottenham's Alex Ferguson after agreeing a new contract with the club.

Pochettino has struck a verbal agreement over a two-year extension to his current deal, which will keep him at White Hart Lane until 2021.

The Argentinian has nurtured a talented young squad this season and the future looks bright for Spurs, who are also due to move into their new 61,000-seater stadium in 2018.

His team have a long way to go to emulate the success of Ferguson's Manchester United, but Pochettino wants to replicate the Scot and build his own legacy in north London.

"Why not? Sir Alex Ferguson is a very special person," Pochettino said.

"He was given the security to build his legacy at Manchester United. I believe we are special too and we can build it here together.

"This club is special. I feel the love from the beginning, from the very first day. I am very happy to be here to hopefully achieve big things.

"I think the potential is fantastic, with the new stadium. I think the club is coming to a very tough period because we are building a new stadium and we may focus sometimes on that, but at the same time it is very exciting."

Pochettino has steered Spurs to second place in the Barclays Premier League and they still have an outside chance of winning the title, trailing Leicester by seven points with three games to go.

United and Chelsea had both reportedly considered Pochettino for their top jobs next term, but the 44-year-old said it was an easy decision to stay put.

"We started to speak before, a few months ago, and today I think is a good moment to communicate we have reached the verbal agreement," Pochettino said on Friday.

"I am very happy. I wanted to stay for many reasons. Tottenham have unbelievable potential. We created after two years here a great group of players.

"We have a very strong squad, young, with potential to be a top team. The staff and the supporters are unbelievable, there is massive potential, why not stay here?"

One of Pochettino's greatest successes has been Dele Alli, but the midfielder will miss the rest of the campaign after receiving a three-game ban for punching West Brom's Claudio Yacob on Monday.

It is not the first time Alli has been guilty of ill-discipline this season, but Pochettino said the talented 20-year-old cannot be changed.

"He has a very strong character and personality and for that he is one of the best players in England," Pochettino said.

"We cannot change him, but he made a mistake. Everyone can make mistakes."

Alli's suspension may at least allow him to recuperate before Euro 2016, but he will continue to train as normal with his club.

"It is very important that he keeps his performance and all the levels of physical condition," Pochettino said.

"For us it is true the next few weeks he cannot play but he needs to work, maybe a little bit more to keep his physical level."