Mauricio Pochettino rejected the chance to become Real Madrid’s next manager because he didn’t want to be labelled a mercenary.
Sportsmail understands Pochettino was, for all intents and purposes, offered the vacant manager’s job at the Bernabeu after discreet overtures from Real officials.
The prospect of returning to Spain to take one of the biggest jobs in world football was certainly an attractive prospect for Pochettino.
But sources claim the Argentine turned his back on a dream switch to Real, knowing such a move would lead to serious questions over his loyalty.
Pochettino showed a huge commitment to Tottenham at the end of last month by agreeing a new five-year deal to stay in north London.
And the South American is well aware that leaving Tottenham for Real just days after signing his £8.5million-a-year contract would leave his credibility in tatters.
Since agreeing his new deal, Pochettino has held talks with a number of key players, pleading with them to follow his example by signing extensions at Tottenham.
Among others Pochettino has held face-to-face discussions with Christian Eriksen, who is now poised to sign fresh terms.
Harry Kane and Dele Alli have also been lined up for improved contracts.
Having spoken about how much he values loyalty to his players, Pochettino knows the consequences if he decided to jump ship.