London (AFP) - New Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata turned down a move to Tottenham Hotspur because he feared the competition from striker Harry Kane, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has claimed.
Morata, 24, joined champions Chelsea from Real Madrid last month for a reported fee of £70 million (S$125 million).
Pochettino spoke to Morata about a move to Spurs two years ago, and said the Spanish international was deterred by the presence of the prolific Kane at White Hart Lane.
"Morata talked about myself, in the media he said: 'Mauricio called me.' That was two years ago or more," Pochettino said, in comments published by several British newspapers on Wednesday.
"He said to me: 'Why do you want me if you have Harry Kane?'"
Unlike their Premier League title rivals, Spurs are yet to make a significant close-season signing and the new campaign is just over a week away.
Spurs have mounted stirring title challenges in both of the past two campaigns and Pochettino said the strength of his first XI was deterring potential new recruits.
"You know, if you go to try to sign a striker, they will say: 'Eh gaffer, you want me for what? To be on the bench?' I can't compete with Harry Kane or Hugo Lloris or different players,'" he said.
"It's so difficult to convince good players to come and then be on the bench. Then the problems start."