Pochettino remains tight-lipped on Tottenham’s transfer plans
Mauricio Pochettino has remained tight-lipped on Tottenham’s transfer plans as the clock ticks down towards deadline day, refusing to comment on the club’s moves for West Bromwich Albion’s Saido Berahino and Bayer Leverkusen’s Son Heung-Min.
The summer window closes at 6pm on Tuesday and Spurs are anxious to sign a striker. They have had two bids rejected for Albion forward Berahino, who has also had a transfer request turned down by the Midlands club.
While Pochettino admits the club could “maybe” sign a player before Saturday’s home game against Everton, he was in no mood to discuss specifics or individuals.
“I am focused on my team and trying to improve our game,” he said. “I need to spend my time thinking how I improve my team and to be focused on my players.
“There are a lot of rumours around us with different players, different names. I’m happy there are only five days of the transfer window left because we need to be focused only on football and my job is on the pitch. I don’t speak about other players at different clubs.
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“It is obvious we need one striker more, maybe one player more and we are working hard. This you know and this is what we need to provide the squad with [to have] the right balance to compete for the whole season.I’m happy because it is close to the end of the window and we need something to happen.
“We have different targets. We have our targets but I cannot manage the rumours and the names that are in the media. I never speak about the rumours, this is one of my rules.”
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Spurs are attempting to sign Bayer Leverkusen’s attacking midfielder Son, with the German club’s director Rudi Voller confirming there have been talks and adding: “I saw many medicals in this business where there was no deal afterwards.”
Again, Pochettino refused to be drawn, stating the interest in Son is “another rumour, another name” – which he repeated when asked about Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama.
“When there are a lot of names around us maybe one is true but I am focused on my job because for us it is important to start to win games,” he said.
“We have a very important game on Saturday and my job is to keep focused on my team, players and Everton. The rumours and names don’t help us to win games.”
Pochettino reports that Erik Lamela trained with the squad today despite speculation that he could move to Inter Milan in the coming days.
“Is he in talks? I don’t know,” said Pochettino. “Erik said nothing to me. Today he was in training, happy, and the player is the same way as before. Nothing happened today.”
Asked if he expects his fellow Argentine to stay at the club, the head coach said: “Today, yes, but in football you never know. We don’t sign today but maybe tomorrow.
“Maybe there are teams interested in Lamela or another player we have. Today Lamela said nothing to me and it is only a rumour we see in the media.”
Saturday’s opponents Everton also have speculation surrounding them as Chelsea eye the prodigious Toffees centre-back John Stones, who has handed in a transfer request.
But the 21-year-old played throughout Sunday’s defeat to Manchester City and in last night’s Capital One Cup victory over Barnsley, and Pochettino said: “Yesterday we could see that he is a very professional and mature player. He played like nothing happened.
“I don’t know if it [the rumours] are true or not true but what is true is he wasn’t affected by the rumours and played like he played, in a very good way. It’s not a situation that can help us.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs