Tuesday 20 August 2019

Pochettino confident Tottenham stars will resist lure of Chinese cash

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino does not expect any of his stars to chase the big money on offer in China
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino does not expect any of his stars to chase the big money on offer in China

Mauricio Pochettino does not believe any of his Tottenham players would move to China as they value quality of competition over money.

Chelsea midfielder Oscar is set to join Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG in January for £52million, with the Brazilian reportedly about to earn £400,000 a week.

Oscar will be the latest talent to seal a big-money transfer to China after the likes of Hulk, Jackson Martinez, Ramires, and Alex Teixeira also made the switch.

Tottenham sold Brazilian midfielder Paulinho to Guangzhou Evergrande in 2015 but Pochettino insists his current crop would not be tempted by the mouthwatering financial muscle of Chinese clubs.

"I don't believe it's a danger for us," Pochettino said.

"My players like to play football and like to compete with the best in the world and the Premier League is a place to be competitive.

"It would be strange for me if one of my players decided to move in that direction but it is different circumstances and I respect all opinions."

Spurs tried to sign Oscar in 2012 before Chelsea gazumped their bid and Pochettino questioned the 25-year-old's motivation in moving to China.

"I can accept all the decisions but it's sometimes difficult to understand this type of decision," Pochettino said.

"Football for me is not only money, it's to be competitive and for me the Premier League is the most important league in the world.

"It's not only money, for me it's a passion. I need to feel the competition. When you're in the Premier League, you're competing with the best and that means a lot more than money."

Goalkeeper Michel Vorm joined a long line of Tottenham players in committing his future to the club on Friday. Vorm signed a new contract to keep him at White Hart Lane until 2018.

The Holland international joined from Swansea in July 2014 and has made 26 appearances for Spurs, where he has been understudy to France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

"We are delighted to announce that Michel Vorm has signed a new contract with the club which will run until 2018," said a statement on the official Tottenham website.

"The Dutch international goalkeeper has proved to be a reliable figure whenever called upon, notably playing a number of games during our run to the League Cup final in 2014-15 and putting in a man-of-the-match performance in our Premier League clash with Liverpool earlier this season."

Tottenham travel to Southampton on Wednesday, hoping to continue a recent resurgence that has included four wins out of their last five in all competitions.

Pochettino will also be boosted by the return of key players for the clash.

Mousa Dembele and Vincent Janssen are expected to recover from foot and ankle problems respectively while Toby Alderweireld has shaken off a minor back injury.

"Dembele is OK, he is training, very good," Pochettino said.

"Only Lamela is out. Janssen will be good. Toby is OK - I think it's only Lamela unavailable for Southampton."

PA Media

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