Mauricio Pochettino has insisted he is happy at Saints and is planning for the long-term – although he would not confirm if he has entered into negotiations over a new contract.
Pochettino’s current deal is due to run until the end of next season, and the Argentine said it was not yet a priority to discuss signing a fresh one.
However, there have been suggestions that Saints’ new board have already begun negotiating with him over extending his stay at St Mary’s, in a bid to ward off possible interest from other clubs this summer.
Chairman Ralph Krueger would not comment on that earlier this week, and Pochettino himself said he would “neither confirm nor reject” that talks had taken place.
“I don’t think it’s a priority to talk about that right now. It’s not important,” he said.
“My responsibility as first-team manager always remains the same, it’s always about this football club, about what’s best for this football club.
“Also in football, a contract does not guarantee you your future presence at the football club. It doesn’t guarantee it.
“I still have one more year on my contract, I’m happy with that, and I just want to keep on working at this football club, as I do normally.
“It’s not a priority for me to talk about future contracts.”
While Pochettino is correct that contracts in football only mean so much, it would nonetheless represent a strong statement from the new Saints board if they could tie him to a fresh deal.
Pochettino added: “I’m very happy that I’m here, I have one more year left on my contract here, and things will be dealt with and be negotiated in a natural way when they have to be spoken about.
“And, when I say that I’m not worried about it, I mean that in the sense that I’m always working for the future of this football club, I’m always thinking about the long-term, I’m always thinking about what’s best for this football club in the long-term.”
Krueger has already held “positive” discussions with Pochettino, and the pair were due to meet yesterday for the first time since the former ice hockey coach was officially appointed chairman.
Pochettino spoke of wanting to achieve a “very good working relationship” with the new man in charge at St Mary’s, and that he looked forward to listening to what the 54-year-old had to say.
While nearly two months had passed between the exit of former chairman Nicola Cortese and the arrival of the new board of directors, Pochettino revealed that his work with the first-team had been unaffected.
“The structure at this football club, especially regarding the first-team, is a very responsible and organised one, so we’ve already been thinking about the next season for a few months already,” he said.
“We’ve been thinking about the long-term, we’ve been looking at players’ schedules, especially this summer with the World Cup.
“It’s going to be a difficult thing to juggle everything regarding the end of the season, the pre-season, the World Cup.
“We’ve been organising that for some time now, and that’s just basically the responsibility that we have here at the club.”
Pochettino, who also said he had received nothing but “kindness and positivity” from owner Katharina Liebherr since she took on a greater role at the club, added: “My responsibility as a manager is not just about today. “It’s also about looking ahead towards the future, and it’s clear that we’ve been spending a lot of time looking at the next season.
“We’ve been planning many things about the next season.”