Mauricio Pochettino says being linked with the Manchester United job can only be a good thing as it must mean he is doing a good job with Paris Saint-Germain.
The ex-Espanyol, Southampton and Tottenham boss has been persistently touted as United’s top choice to succeed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on a permanent basis at Old Trafford.
He is reported to be interested in a return to the Premier League with the Red Devils, who look poised to name Ralf Rangnick as interim boss until the end of the season.
Pochettino refused to quash the rumours after Wednesday’s 2-1 Champions League loss to Manchester City, but PSG sporting director Leonardo said on Friday the Argentine has not asked to leave.
The speculation is unlikely to go away until United bring in a new full-time boss, but Pochettino insists he will not let it distract him from his duties at Parc des Princes.
“I am very focused on PSG. We are used to these rumours,” he said at a news conference ahead of Sunday’s Ligue 1 trip to Saint-Etienne.
“Rumours come often, and it’s a good sign that they come often, because it’s a sign that we are doing a good job.
“But we do not create these rumours. We just focus on working well. We make sure to stay calm and that it does not affect us. The players are focused, too. It doesn’t affect us.”
Pochettino was cheekily asked if he prefers roast beef or boeuf bourguignon, to which he replied: “Argentinian barbecue, always!”
PSG travel to Stade Geoffroy-Guichard aiming to bounce back from their midweek loss at the hands of City.
The Parisiens have won 12 of their 14 Ligue 1 games this term and are unbeaten in 16 league meetings with Saint-Etienne, winning 11 of those.
Sergio Ramos, an unused substitute in the defeat at the Etihad Stadium, is in line to make his first appearance for PSG after recovering from a niggling injury issue.
The Spain international has spent his entire career to date in Spain and Pochettino acknowledged it may take time for the experienced centre-back to adapt.
“He needs to play. We’ll have to see how he adapts to the league, which is completely different from LaLiga,” Pochettino said.
“It’s hard to predict how he will get on. It’s just a feeling. He’ll need the time it takes.
“He’s behaving professionally and wants to help the team. He’s a player that we know, with a lot of experience, and is a great champion. He can bring his knowledge and values.”
PSG confirmed on Saturday that Marco Verratti will miss the trip to Saint-Etienne but should be back in training next week, while Ander Herrera, Georginio Wijnaldum and Mauro Icardi are also out.
“These are things that happen in football,” Pochettino said when asked about Verratti’s injury setback. “He’s an important player for us, but also for all the coaches who have been here.
“He is a fundamental player. It’s a pity that he cannot be counted on tomorrow. We hope that he can find this continuity with the team to play regularly. We are still positive, and we hope that this will be his last injury.”