Rivals who splash cash don't frighten us: Levy

Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen, whose contract will end at the end of the season, has been linked with a move to Manchester United when the transfer window opens next month. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen, whose contract will end at the end of the season, has been linked with a move to Manchester United when the transfer window opens next month. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON • Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said the club are not frightened by the spending power of their Premier League rivals and are unafraid to sell Christian Eriksen to an English team.

New boss Jose Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino last month and has guided Spurs back up into fifth place in the league and into the last 16 of the Champions League.

Victory at home against Chelsea on Sunday would lift Spurs above their London rivals into the Champions League qualifying spots.

With the January transfer window about to open, fans will be hoping for more squad investment following the summer arrivals of Ryan Sessegnon and Tanguy Ndombele.

But Levy said Tottenham, constrained by their repayment financing schedule following their move into a new stadium, would not just spend for the sake of it.

"The problem is, it is also about squad size, English versus non-English, because we have the home-grown rule in the Premier League," Levy told London's Evening Standard on Wednesday.

"There are lots of circumstances why sometimes you don't do a transaction. It wasn't a case that we didn't have money. We have to get rid of this obsession in England of spending money. It just doesn't happen overseas."

The 57-year-old said the club had allocated an amount to spend each year on the team.

"If you compare us to certain other clubs, they will have more money to spend. It doesn't frighten us," he said.

In the wide-ranging interview, he was also asked about the possibility of selling players to another Premier League side.

Eriksen, 27, is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with a move next month, with Manchester United reportedly interested in the Danish midfielder.

"We are honestly not scared to trade with our rivals," Levy said.

"My view is simple. For a player to sign a new contract, not only have the conditions got to be right, but the player has got to want to do it.

"It is up to those players whether they want to stay at Tottenham."

The Englishman also said Mourinho's emphasis would be to improve the squad, rather than look for wholesale changes next month.

"He's made it clear he is not looking for new players. He is happy with what he's got," Levy said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 20, 2019, with the headline 'Rivals who splash cash don't frighten us: Levy'. Print Edition | Subscribe