Pochettino prioritising transfers over new deals

25 August 2016 16:16

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has put plans for any improved contracts on hold while he focuses on recruiting new players to his squad.

A number of Spurs stars are eyeing extensions to their current deals at White Hart Lane, but Pochettino is instead intent on securing signings in the final days of the transfer window.

Marseille’s Georges-Kevin Nkoudou has long been linked with a move, while there is also reported interest in Espanyol goalkeeper Pau Lopez and Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.

Ahead of Tottenham’s clash with Liverpool this weekend, Pochettino suggested that these negotiations will take priority over new contracts for the likes of Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela and Jan Vertonghen.

“We are more focused on adding players,” he told the media. “We are focused on trying to improve our squad rather than improve the contracts of our players.”

And the Spurs boss also acknowledged that his players’ international commitments – both at Euro 2016 and in the upcoming break – have had an effect on their start to the new campaign.

“We had different players involved in the Euros and it is difficult to start to compete again and be at 100 per cent,” Pochettino said.

“I feel it is too early to start international competitions again but we cannot change the rules. It is difficult for the same players to be involved again but there is nothing we can do as the players want to play for the national team.

“It is very important how we manage the squad. Last week Dele Alli was ill for two or three days and it was impossible for him to train. You cannot kill the player.

“It is important we manage them to help them compete for the whole season.”

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