Real or unreal, Pochettino coy on Kane

Harry Kane celebrating after scoring in Sunday's 1-1 draw against Southampton. Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino will not address "rumours" of his move.
Harry Kane celebrating after scoring in Sunday's 1-1 draw against Southampton. Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino will not address "rumours" of his move.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Mauricio Pochettino dismissed talk of a potential £200 million (S$366.9 million) Real Madrid bid for Harry Kane after the England striker scored his 99th Premier League goal in a 1-1 draw at Southampton on Sunday.

"I'm not going to speak about rumours because if I give information about one rumour, I have to do it at all press conferences. It's not my problem to talk about rumours," the Tottenham manager said.

Pochettino did, however, say he does not expect to sign any new players after seeing his team miss the chance to move back into the top four as they were denied by a spirited Southampton.

He insisted that he was not concerned about increasing the numbers in this month's transfer window, although Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal have already moved in the market.

"I am not concerned about that," he said. "In the window, it will be difficult to add quality to the team in that period. I am very relaxed and calm, not concerned, I am happy with the squad that we have.

"If something happens and the conditions to try to sign some players, but if not, it is not a problem."

Southampton started well on Sunday and created two good chances down the left flank before Ryan Betrand's cross from that area was turned past his own goalkeeper by Spurs defender Davinson Sanchez.

  • Premier League talking points

  • 1) LUMBERING LUKAKU OFFERS MORE THAN GOALS

    Romelu Lukaku can be criticised for a perceived clumsy touch, yet he was the key to Manchester United's hard-fought 1-0 win over Burnley.

    When Phil Jones picked him out near the halfway line, the Belgian bulldozed into space along the right before delivering a pass into Anthony Martial's path, with the Frenchman smashing the ball home.

    This supreme piece of creativity turned the contest United's way. It was also Lukaku's fifth league assist and, although he has only one goal in his past five appearances, United manager Jose Mourinho is correct to point to what else he contributes.

  • 2) REAL INTEREST IN HAZARD

    Eden Hazard has scored just one goal in his previous 11 games but his double on Saturday - the first bringing up a landmark century of career league goals, came in a 4-0 dismantling of Brighton.

    However, a cloud hangs over his future at Chelsea and the club's 12-match unbeaten run, with Hazard yet to commit himself to a new contract against a background of apparent interest from Real Madrid.

  • 3) DYNAMIC DUO OF VARDY AND MAHREZ

    Claude Puel has returned Leicester to their counter-attacking best with star pair Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez at the heart of everything.

    Vardy is making the runs that built his reputation, earning a penalty in their 2-0 win over Watford.

    Mahrez, meanwhile, is back to his peak, cutting in from the wing and showing his desire with his injury-time goal.

    THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Tottenham did not waste any time in replying. Eric Dier had already struck the base of the post before Kane headed in Ben Davies' corner just 197 seconds after the Saints had gone in front.

Unlike Pochettino, Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino is expecting new arrivals as the club continue to be linked with Spartak Moscow winger Quincy Promes and Monaco striker Guido Carrillo.

After Newport County in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday, Tottenham meet United, Liverpool and Arsenal in successive league games before playing Juventus in the Champions League.

"We will fight. The idea is to win games and be consistent and have the facility to fight for the top four," Pochettino added.

THE TIMES, LONDON, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2018, with the headline 'Real or unreal, Pochettino coy on Kane'. Print Edition | Subscribe