Mauricio Pochettino revealed that joining Real Madrid last year was simply not an option as he refused to break his new contract at Tottenham.
Following Zinedine Zidane’s shock exit last May, Pochettino had emerged as the favourite to replace the three-time Champions League winning coach at Real.
But the Argentinian had signed a new five-year deal at Spurs on May 24, which was just seven days prior to Zidane’s departure, after securing the club’s third consecutive Premier League top-four finish.
Therefore, Pochettino turned down the tempting prospect of coaching Los Blancos in favour of remaining at Spurs.
“The situation was difficult. The dream of every coach was at stake: to lead the biggest team that exists,” Pochettino said to El Pais.
“And you must say no. That is momentous. It creates a conflict. Because you know that if a coach wants to leave, he leaves. But I had just signed a [contract] renewal with Tottenham. And I felt that I could not do anything.
“Daniel Levy did not accept the offers to free me and if they ask me to break the contract I cannot accept it because I cannot behave like that.
“If my chairman thinks I’m going to continue, I’m not going to run off. Those are not my values. Why is it going to be good for a club to sign a coach who violates his commitments?”
Spain boss Julen Lopetegui was instead controversially appointed Real manager just days before the start of the 2018 World Cup.
After La Roja fired him, Lopetegui embarked on a disastrous 120 days in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu. He won just six of his 14 matches and was shown the door following a 5-1 Clasico defeat to Barcelona in October.
Castilla coach Santiago Solari was named as Lopetegui’s successor following a successful stint as caretaker manager.
While he did win 18 of his 28 matches, the Argentinian was given his marching orders in March following Real’s Champions League and Copa del Rey exits.
Zidane has since returned to the Bernabeu and is set to embark on a massive spending spree that could see Real spend up to €540m on just six players.