Harry Kane 'could have same career' as one-club Francesco Totti - Pochettino
MADRID -- Mauricio Pochettino believes that Harry Kane could spend his entire career at Tottenham, claiming the England forward has the connection to the club that may yet see him do for Spurs what Francesco Totti did for Roma.
Totti spent over 20 years at Roma, retiring at the end of last season's to a hero's reception at the Stadio Olimpico after rejecting a series of opportunities to leave the club for bigger and more high-profile clubs.
With Kane set to face Real Madrid for the first time on Tuesday, Pochettino was asked by the Spanish media at his news conference in the Santiago Bernabeu whether the 24-year-old has what it takes to be a Real player.
But Spurs manager Pochettino responded by claiming Kane could see out his career as a one-club man at Tottenham.
"Harry Kane was so emotional when he saw the last game of Totti in Rome," Pochettino said. "He only played in one club and Harry was very emotional.
"I was saying that Harry could have the same career as Totti. The most important thing is that he is happy at Spurs, but who knows where we are going to be tomorrow? We should enjoy the present.
"He is from the academy and identifies with the club. He is a player who likes scoring goals in a Tottenham shirt.
"He identifies with Tottenham values and I hope he stays with us a long time because he is a great professional and a model for his teammates.
"We all agree that he is one of the best forwards in the world. He is one of the best, he is playing really well and the potential to grow is great. He is still really young and will get many chances to improve."
While Spurs remain bullish about Kane's long-term future at the club, reports have suggested that chairman Daniel Levy is keen for Pochettino to remain as manager for 15 years.
Pochettino has also been cited as a possible future Real manager, but the Argentine claimed that he would happily commit himself to Spurs for the long-term because of his belief the team is developing as quickly as the club.
"15 years?" Pochettino said. "It's up to him [Levy]. It's always up to the owner or chairman to decide if you're a manager for a short time or long period.
"I'm so happy. I enjoy my time at Tottenham, it's a club with big potential, new stadium and facilities which will be best in Europe.
"And at the same time, to be a competitive team and win a trophy. But I am happy to hear Daniel is being so kind to me, telling everyone what to expect.
"I always try to be honest. I don't like to lie. Sometimes I lie a bit to my wife but not to the media! It's impossible.
"I could not train Barcelona, for many reasons we shouldn't get deep into. I hope I stay 10-15 years at Tottenham. If he [Levy] wants I would love to sign that contract."
Spurs face Real without the suspended Dele Alli, but Danny Rose has travelled to Madrid after a long-term knee injury, with Pochettino admitting the England left-back could start the game on the bench.
"To play from the start, no, but we have to decide tomorrow about being on the bench," the manager said of Rose. "He is excited, motivated and happy and it is good for the group."
Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC. Follow him @MarkOgden_