Saturday 16 December 2017

Mauricio Pochettino: Spurs won't bother battling big guns in transfer market

Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham will not interfere when their rivals make big-money bids
Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham will not interfere when their rivals make big-money bids

Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham will not even try to compete with their richer rivals in the transfer market this summer.

Spurs have already secured Champions League qualification for a second consecutive year and their sustained title challenge this season has put to shame the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.

But those clubs all have deeper pockets than Tottenham and, crucially, can offer prospective signings much larger amounts in wages.

Asked if Spurs would steer clear of players being targeted by other top teams in the Premier League, Pochettino said: "Of course. You know better than me it is so difficult.

"We talk about 'if Tottenham are in the Champions League, it will be more attractive.' But then it's all about if you pay or not when we talk about top players.

"We have unbelievable facilities but if some club is paying double the salary, then how can you convince them? We cannot lie to you. That is the reality.

"You need younger players, like Dele Alli, who preferred to come here than another club. We took a big risk on Dele Alli and now he is a massive player, one of the most important in England. But who took the risk? Us."

Before Pochettino begins crystallising his transfer targets, however, he must ensure the current crop arrive fresh and raring to go at the start of next season.

After their final game at Hull on Sunday, his squad will fly to Hong Kong for a five-day post-season tour.

International players like Harry Kane and Alli will then have a few days off before linking up with England for matches against Scotland on June 10 and France on June 13.

Those players are likely to be allowed to return for pre-season slightly later than the scheduled start date of July 3 but it still leaves them with less than a month to rest and recuperate.

"It is a big, big deal," Pochettino said. "We have been talking a lot over the last few days to give the best possible rest but also be responsible.

"We don't want it to end up that we give one month and a half holidays and then we start the season and nobody is ready. Then you start to lose games because you were irresponsible but we were so kind to give so much holidays.

"It is difficult because their point of view is different to our point of view which is different from the club's point of view. We will agree the terms."

Tottenham will also undertake a 10-day pre-season tour to America at the end of July, which includes friendlies against Paris St Germain, Roma and Manchester City.

But by positioning the Hong Kong trip at the start of the summer, Pochettino believes his players will benefit later on.

"If you are in a big club - look at Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern - all the big clubs are involved in tournaments," Pochettino said.

"I think we are helping because we are going to Hong Kong, to have a nice time and train.

"These days, if you do not go now, you have to be there in pre-season.

"In pre-season, it is worse to go there when you want better conditions to be ready."

Press Association

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