The bitter irony lurking behind Tottenham's famous win over Real Madrid

Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur and Zinedine Zidane, Manager of Real Madrid shake hands following the game at the UEFA Champions League group H match between Tottenham...

Tottenham Hotspur stunned Europe when they swept aside Champions League holders Real Madrid 3-1 in midweek.

Tottenham Hotspur's Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at...

Mauricio Pochettino has turned Tottenham into one of the finest sides in Europe and genuine Premier League title contenders.

As a result the Argentine's own standing in the game has sky-rocketed.

Previous stints at Espanyol and Southampton helped Pochettino prove his credentials in the two most important leagues in Europe.

But it is with Spurs he has truly earned his spurs and is now one of the most coveted names in football.

Manchester United made serious overtures for his services before appointing Jose Mourinho.

Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur and Zinedine Zidane, Manager of Real Madrid shake hands following the game at the UEFA Champions League group H match between Tottenham...

And with Spurs seriously establishing themselves among the elite in recent years - and a superb new 61,000 seater stadium on the horizon - the Red Devils are one of only a handful of clubs that realistically stand any chance of prising Pochettino away from North London.

Among the others are Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

Bayern are actively seeking a new long-term manager but the Bundesliga is on the wane and not the draw it once was.

Meanwhile Barcelona would be out of the question for Pochettino given his allegiance to fierce rivals Espanyol.

Mauricio Pochettino of Espanyol and Ismael Urzaiz in action during the La Liga match between RCD Espanyol and Athletic de Bilbao at the Lluis Companys stadium, on November 5, 2005, in...

Pochettino during his Espanyol playing days, the club he went on to manage

So as the pressure builds on Zinedine Zidane in Madrid, could it be that Pochettino's results against them with Spurs in this season's competition turn out to be the perfect audition?

Time will tell but the bitter irony is not lost on Spurs fans who are used to losing their prized assets to the Spanish giants in recent years.

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch