The defender appeared to criticise the manager, but the Spurs boss says he has since reached out to clarify
Mauricio Pochettino insists that Kieran Trippier was not forced out of Tottenham this summer after the Atletico Madrid defender appeared to hit out at club leadership for how they handled his departure.
Trippier left Spurs to sign for Atletico Madrid this summer, and the England defender recently revealed that he was kept in the dark regarding his future with the club throughout his last season in London.
The defender said neither Pochettino nor chairman Daniel Levy told him whether they wanted him to stay or go, despite his questioning.
However, Pochettino insists that he made it clear that he wanted to hold on to Trippier, who has since reached out to the manager through Harry Kane to clear up his comments.
“I didn’t see [his interview], but I heard about it,” Pochettino said ahead of Saturday’s home match against Crystal Palace. “We had a conversation where he explained he was going to move to Atletico Madrid – nothing more.
“On Wednesday, when Harry Kane arrived back [from international duty] he said to me, ‘Did you get Kieran’s text?’ I said no because I changed my number. Maybe because he doesn’t have the new number.
“He believed his words were twisted – I don’t know anything more. Kieran translated this message to me through Harry Kane. He wanted to tell me. But I’ve got no problem with Kieran.
“In football decisions happen and players move from one club to another. What happened, happened, and we need to move on and he needs to think of Atletico Madrid and be happy there.”
Pochettino went on to say that it was Trippier who initiated the move, as he joined Atletico Madrid in a £20 million ($24.1m) move to the La Liga club this summer after a difficult season at Tottenham.
The defender had three years left on his contract, but, according to Pochettino, he had his eyes set on Madrid.
“In the only conversation when he arrived [back] after the summer, he came to see me, he asked me for a meeting and said, ‘Gaffer, I think I have a good possibility and for different reasons I would like to accept the offer from Atletico Madrid’.
“He didn’t ask me nothing – only whether the club were going to accept the offer. Nothing more. It wasn’t a conversation – ‘You want me? Or you don’t want me?’ It was so clear.
“He played the final of the Champions League, when I had plenty of different options, with Serge Aurier, Davinson Sanchez, Kyle Walker-Peters. But he played the final of the Champions League. My actions speak louder than my words.”
Despite Trippier’s move and the ensuing drama that has come from it, Pochettino says he still has a high opinion of the defender while adding that he feels proud of how the English defender has grown in recent years.
“I keep very good memories from him,” Pochettino said. “We sign him from Burnley [in summer 2014] when they were relegated, bought him for £4million. He was worried about whether he would play.
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“I said to him don’t worry we are going to provide the best platform for performance and later one-and-a-half years he was in the starting XI. He reached the national team, played the World Cup and now he’s with Atletico Madrid.
“He was in the second division when we signed him. We all feel proud to help him to achieve his dream and to reach a level that he wasn’t at before he arrived at Tottenham.
“That talks very highly about Tottenham, talks very highly about him, and we are more than happy that he has been enjoying the new experience in Spain. I hope he has a good life there.”