Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has issued a warning that the club will not be forced into selling players that they want to keep this summer.
Given that they’ve enjoyed another impressive season where they’ve received plenty of plaudits from pundits and rivals alike, it’s only natural that other clubs are paying interest to their players.
A lack of trophies could come back to haunt them as they fell short in the FA Cup at the weekend and look likely to finish second in the Premier League this season, and perhaps that could work against them this summer if top clubs around Europe are looking to convince their best players to leave north London.
However, Pochettino has a message for all concerned as he sets his stall out early, with the Argentine tactician insisting that the club will not sell any players against their will this summer.
“The players that we want to keep, we will keep, because he [chairman Daniel Levy] said to me ‘we don’t need money’. If we sell some players it is because we want to sell some players,” he is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“We will sell players because of the players we want to sign. For our fans, it is so clear that all the decisions we take are for the reason to try to improve the team, to try to be more competitive next season.”
The Tottenham manager went on to jokingly hit out at Barcelona legend Xavi too as he hinted that Pep Guardiola would be keen to sign Dele Alli this summer.
“Xavi is in a period when he loves to talk. He’s in Doha (playing for Qatari club Al Sadd) and he was a Barcelona player – he’s my enemy. I don’t know what Xavi said – is he working for Manchester City now? He wants to help Guardiola.
“He tries to destroy our focus to win because he hates me because he’s a Barcelona player and fan. I know Xavi very well. I played against him a lot and when I was a manager.”
His comments also come at a time when Toby Alderweireld has been linked with a move to Inter, which could be countered by a big-money new contract from Spurs, as noted by The Mirror, while The Telegraph claim that Kyle Walker will reassess his future at the club this summer with reported interest from both Manchester clubs.