Tottenham transfer news: Mauricio Pochettino laughs off Gareth Bale links but admits Spurs must strengthen

Pochettino watched his side lose on penalties to Barcelona during preseason

Chris Young
Sunday 29 July 2018 08:59
Pochettino wants new signings this summer
Pochettino wants new signings this summer

Mauricio Pochettino laughed when asked whether Gareth Bale could make a fairytale return to Tottenham before the transfer deadline.

“It’s not realistic,” said a smiling Pochettino in response to the question from a Spanish-speaking journalist in his press conference after Saturday night's International Champions Cup encounter against Barcelona.

But while Pochettino claims he is “relaxed” over Spurs’ continued wait to make their first summer signing, the Argentine knows it is imperative that the club add to their ranks before August 9.

Already without their nine World Cup semi-finalists, Pochettino’s options have not been helped by injuries. Moussa Sissoko picked up a hamstring problem in the penalty shootout defeat to the La Liga champions, while Erik Lamela and Victor Wanyama missed the game entirely.

“With or without injuries, I think that’s our target [to bring in players] after finishing last season,” said Pochettino. “We want to add some quality who can help us to achieve the goals we want.

“We are going to see what happens in the next few days.”

When asked why he was so relaxed about the situation, Pochettino said: “Nothing is going to change if you have different moods or humour.

Bale scored in Real Madrid's victory over Liverpool in Kiev that secured the Champions League

“You need to be relaxed and my focus is on helping the team and to deliver the way we want to play and to arrive in the best condition for the start of the season.”

Two players who have been linked with Spurs, Andre Gomes and Rafinha, both featured in a dominant first half for Barcelona, who went 2-0 up, before Pochettino’s men pegged them back with two goals in as many minutes after the break.

But Pochettino refused to confirm whether the duo were on his hit-list after the pre-season encounter in Pasadena, California.

“I’m not going to talk about targets or names. We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks,” he said.

Pochettino wants new signings this summer (AFP/Getty Images)

Lamela is expected to be fit for Spurs’ clash against AC Milan, in Minneapolis, while initial indications suggest that Sissoko’s hamstring problem is not serious.

However, it is feared that Wanyama has suffered a repeat of the knee injury which sidelined him for four months last season, with the former Southampton midfielder flying back to London to see a specialist.

Pochettino said: “Wanyama has gone back to London because they need to see the doctor there and we are going to assess over the next few days and see what happens.

“[With Sissoko] we hope it’s a minor injury, but he feels something in his hamstring.”

The benefit of the depleted options is that Pochettino has had a chance to take a closer look at Spurs’ academy products, with midfielder Luke Amos particularly catching the manager’s eye after starting both of the first two games in the US.

“It’s amazing to give the opportunity to players like Luke Amos or Skippy [Oliver Skipp],” he added. “To play against Roma and [against Barcelona] is a fantastic experience for them to enjoy. That experience is massive. We need to take positive things in a negative period of some injuries.”

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