Saturday 24 August 2019

Spurs insist Pochettino still has big input on transfers

Manager airs frustrations over policy, suggesting his job title should change

Harry Kane tussles with Bayern Munich’s Thiago in the Audi Cup final, which Tottenham won 6-5 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in normal time. Dubliner Troy Parrott was an unused substitute for Spurs. Photo by Adam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images
Harry Kane tussles with Bayern Munich’s Thiago in the Audi Cup final, which Tottenham won 6-5 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in normal time. Dubliner Troy Parrott was an unused substitute for Spurs. Photo by Adam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images

Matt Law

Tottenham Hotspur have no plans to change manager Mauricio Pochettino's job title, despite the Argentine's surprise suggestion that he should revert to being the club's head coach.

Chairman Daniel Levy will continue to work closely with Pochettino to try to secure at least two more signings ahead of the closure of the transfer window next Thursday, with the 47-year-old remaining on the club's transfer committee.

Pochettino's title was changed from head coach to manager when he signed a new contract in 2016 and said: "When I was head coach I was involved in all aspects of the club and now it's still the same - only that they want to nominate me manager. I'm happy but it doesn't change my position in the club."

But on Tuesday night in Munich, Pochettino appeared to intimate that there is a difference between the two roles and that his input over transfers and contracts would be better suited to the title of head coach.

Pochettino said: "Maybe the club need to change my title description now, because my job now is to coach the team.

"It's not a question for me, it's a question for the club, and maybe they are going to change my title description. Like I told you before, I am not in charge about the individual situations.

"I am the boss designing the strategy to train, to play, the methodology, the philosophy in my area. But in another area... Today, I think I am the coach."

Committee

However, it is understood that Spurs do not expect to change Pochettino's title and believe his role within the four-man transfer committee, with Levy, chief scout Steve Hitchen and head of coaching and development John McDermott, has not changed.

Pochettino has a say on all transfers and contracts, and was believed to be heavily involved in the club record signing of midfielder Tanguy Ndombele and the sale of Kieran Trippier.

Ndombele even said: "Tottenham have one of the best coaches in the world. The fact that he wants you really makes you want to work with him. It's he who tipped the balance in my decision."

Tottenham will not pursue a signing without the agreement of Pochettino, with Ryan Sessegnon and Giovani Lo Celso heading up the list of targets they are chasing.

Manchester United have moved to the front of the queue for Juventus forward Paulo Dybala.

Despite his apparent frustration over the transfer market, Pochettino can at least be happy that Harry Kane has warned Premier League defenders he is feeling fresh after only his second summer off in five years.

Kane played in the 2015 U-21 European Championships, the senior European Championships the following year and the World Cup last summer.

During that time he only had a break in 2017. Kane celebrated his 26th birthday this week and looks in good shape, impressing in their victorious Audi Cup run.

And Kane believes he is ready to hit the ground running when Tottenham start their Premier League season against newly-promoted Aston Villa.

"I had a nice off-season, got married, relaxed and chilled out," said Kane. "I've come back ready to go, as the whole team has, and I feel sharp. I'm going into the season as fresh as I have been for a long while."

Kane has already targeted what would be his third Premier League Golden Boot, but also wants team success with Spurs.

Meanwhile, the Premier League joined forces with the world footballing establishment to attack Saudi Arabia yesterday for failing to stop a broadcaster screening pirated footage of European matches.

Fifa, Uefa, La Liga and the Bundesliga also took the unprecedented step of demanding action from the nation's government after admitting a joint legal bid to stop Saudi-based beoutQ had fallen flat.

Footballing bodies believe the Middle East nation has, so far, turned a blind eye to so-called "widespread and flagrant" breaches because of its rift with Qatar, where beIN Sports holds the commercial rights for the Middle East.

The pirating has continued in part because any legal bid to stop the broadcaster has fallen flat as counsel in Saudi are refusing to take the case.

Seven football organisations have called on the Saudi Arabian authorities to support the termination of "breaches of (their) intellectual property rights in the country". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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