Spurs strong enough for title fight: Pochettino

LONDON • Tottenham Hotspur's start to the season has been overshadowed by Danny Rose's criticism of the English football club's transfer policy, but manager Mauricio Pochettino insists his side are still in position for a strong Premier League campaign.

Rose attacked Tottenham's lack of success in the transfer market - they have yet to sign a single player since the end of last season - by suggesting anyone they have bought previously was so unproven "you had to Google them".

The left-back also claimed he and his teammates were underpaid in a shock blast that was far from ideal preparation for the trip to Newcastle today.

Rose has since apologised and Pochettino refuses to let the controversy distract him from leading Tottenham's title challenge.

Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox

"Has he got a future? Of course," Pochettino said of Rose.

"Nothing changes my ambition and perception. The moment he apologises, everyone moves on."

Pochettino is adamant that Tottenham, who finished second last season, will make signings.

"If you see the last five years, Tottenham always sign players at the end of the transfer window," he said. "We will add some players to the squad but, with the players we have, we can compete."

ESPN reported yesterday that Tottenham are close to a £35 million (S$62 million) deal to sign Ajax centre-back Davinson Sanchez and are also interested in Celta Vigo midfielder Pape Cheikh Diop.

Tottenham are without Rose (knee problem) today, while Erik Lamela (hip) and Georges-Kevin N'Koudou (foot) are the other absentees.

One consolation for Pochettino is Newcastle have problems of their own as speculation swirls around the future of manager Rafael Benitez, who is clearly disenchanted by the club's failure to back him in the transfer market.

"We needed to bring new faces," Benitez said. "We needed to bring some players in some positions in order to have competition."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEWCASTLE V TOTTENHAM
Singtel TV Ch108 & StarHub Ch227, 8.30pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 13, 2017, with the headline 'Spurs strong enough for title fight: Pochettino'. Print Edition | Subscribe