Football

Spurs may leave it late

Pochettino says club will do business next month only if the need arises

EPL
SOUTHAMPTON TOTTENHAM

Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that Tottenham may decide very late if they are to make signings in the January transfer window.

Spurs have limited funds available after spending close to £70 million (S$124.3m) on Moussa Sissoko, Victor Wanyama, Vincent Janssen and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou last summer.

Sissoko, who cost the club a joint-record £30m, was signed on deadline day as the club tried to negotiate a cheaper price with Newcastle.

Tottenham are unlikely to be busy next month, but Pochettino believes any deals are again likely to emerge later on in the window.

"Maybe on the last day, maybe. It's like before," Pochettino said.

"It's too difficult to improve your squad in January, for all the club. I don't expect too much movement.

"I am happy with the squad. At the same time, I recognise it is always very difficult to improve the squad in January.

"The best players, it is difficult for their teams to allow the good players to leave halfway through the season.

"If some special situation happens, maybe we need to be open, but it will be tough or difficult to improve the squad in that period."

OFFER

Press Association Sport understands Tottenham are still monitoring Wilfried Zaha at Crystal Palace, after making an opening offer worth £15m in August.

The club are waiting to see how Zaha figures in the plans of new Palace manager Sam Allardyce, but Pochettino admits he is a fan of the 24-year-old.

"I like good players and maybe he is a good player," Pochettino said.

"But I don't like to start focusing on some names. Then you start a rumour."

Pochettino travels to former club Southampton on Thursday morning (Singapore time) and his Spurs face a rejuvenated Jay Rodriguez following a nightmare two years of injury.

Rodriguez scored 17 goals in 2013-14 during Pochettino's final season in charge at Southampton, but an excellent campaign ended in anguish after he ruptured ligaments in his right knee against Manchester City.

The forward looked back to his best, however, in Southampton's 3-1 win at Bournemouth last week as he scored twice, the second a superb long-range strike.

Pochettino revealed that he sent Rodriguez a congratulatory text after the match.

"I was very happy. I sent him a text," Pochettino said.

"I was happy to see him on the pitch again. He suffered a very bad injury and I remember, fresh in my mind, that day at Manchester City.

TOP PLAYER

"He's a top player, a top man and we were happy to see him score against Bournemouth.

"Now though we will suffer him because he will be our enemy and our opponent. But I'm happy he's back to his level. He's a top person."

Both teams will be looking to continue recent resurgence on Thursday morning, with Spurs winning four out of their last five matches while Southampton are unbeaten in four.

Pochettino's men sit only a point behind Arsenal and fourth place but they can ill afford any slip-ups if they are to stay in touch with in-form leaders Chelsea.

"Last season, the table was the same at this time - seven, eight points behind Leicester," Pochettino said.

"I think it's realistic. The gap is 10 points behind Chelsea, but there are a lot of games to play.

"We can fight for the title at the end of the season.

"This is a very important period, not decisive, but important to cross in a good position and attack the last three or four months with the possibility to try to fight for the top four." - PA SPORT

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