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The Saints boss, who has been mentioned as a potential successor to Carlo Ancelotti, says that, although he has a deal until summer 2015, contracts are "not that important"

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has refused to guarantee his long-term future at the club, opining that contracts are "not that important".

The Argentine, who was expected by some to quit St Mary's Stadium when chairman Nicola Cortese left in January, has been mentioned as a potential successor to Carlo Ancelotti, whose Blancos are trailing local rivals Atletico Madrid in La Liga.

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Pochettino's Saints are ninth in the Premier League, having beaten Liverpool and drawn with the likes of Manchester City and United already this season, but the 41-year-old is uncertain if he will fulfil his current deal, which is due to expire in 2015.

"A contract does not guarantee you are going to be at a club," he told reporters. "You could sign a 10-year contract and be sacked the next day or decide you want to leave. I don't think a contract is that important.

"I am under contract until the end of this season and next so there is time."

Southampton are 10 points behind fifth-placed Everton, who occupy the only league position so far confirmed to bestow Europa League football next season, but Pochettino does not see Europe's second-tier continental competition as much of a lure.

He opined: "For Southampton as a club, it is a success to reach the Europa League but, for Mauricio Pochettino, it is not a competition that is attractive.

"There are many examples where clubs are suffering from playing in the Europa League - not just in England but Spain and Italy as well."