Pochettino wants Tottenham’s players to be ‘desperate’ to stay
Mauricio Pochettino says it is important that Tottenham’s players are “desperate” to stay at the club and do not need to be convinced to remain at White Hart Lane.
Spurs have lost important figures in the past but, since Gareth Bale followed Luka Modric to Real Madrid in 2013, there have been no high-profile departures.
Instead, Tottenham’s players are queuing up to commit their futures to the club - seven players have signed new contracts this month, with Kyle Walker joining the throng today.
It is another sign of the progress made under Pochettino, but the Argentinean says Spurs must continue to be ambitious and challenge for titles if they are to continue to get the best from their stars.
“It’s important to keep the key players, always under my judgement,” said Pochettino. “We sell a lot of players. It’s impossible to be all agreed [on those] but we need to be clear and I need to be clear that it’s under my judgement to keep the key players, and all the players that I believe can be important for the future of the club.
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“We need to provide the key players with a good environment, a solid project and not [have] to convince [them] - the players [must] want to be part of this project. They need to feel that we are in a project where we can win everything.
“Always you know it’s difficult to win, because only one team can win the Premier League, but they need to feel we are serious and consistent and we have a very solid project - and then they need to ask us to stay here, not that we need to convince them to stay.
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“That is a very bad way - when you need to convince the players to stay here it is impossible to get success in the future. They need to ask us to stay here. They need to be desperate to be part of us.
“The message [from the contract extensions] is [they want] to try to win titles and show commitment, and they are happy to be part of this project. That is the big message from them all. It’s always important to have stability and the players showing their commitment.”
Pochettino revealed that an eighth announcement about a contract extension is imminent, saying: “In the next few days maybe one more will appear and then we will see what happens.”
Asked if that player will be Jan Vertonghen, the manager replied: “I cannot say nothing, I cannot give names - but maybe yes it is a centre-back.”
Pochettino then joked: “After we finish with all the players we start to negotiate with Daniel [Levy] for me again.”
He added his belief that Spurs will be able to attract some of the best talents regardless of whether or not they are in the Champions League.
“Tottenham is a big club, whether we are in the Champions League or Europa League or not,” he said. “Liverpool and Chelsea are not involved in Europe but they can sign players because they are big clubs, and Tottenham is in this level.
“We are a big team with a big support and you need to be excited to play for Tottenham. It’s important for our business to be involved in the Champions League or Europa League but a lot of players around the world want to come here.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs