Belfast Telegraph

Pochettino wants Tottenham to be hunters not hunted when attracting top talent

Mauricio Pochettino wants Tottenham to be the hunters not the hunted when it comes to attracting the world's top talents.

Kyle Walker is the latest Spurs player to be attracting interest after Dele Alli, Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier and Christian Eriksen have all been linked with moves away.

Tottenham have been forced to sell their star names in recent years and still cannot compete financially with the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

But Pochettino, whose side sit second in the Premier League, wants Spurs to become a club that players look to join rather than leave.

"We want to move the club to the last level," Pochettino said.

"At the moment if we are capable of moving the club in the next few years to the last level you will see maybe the rumours will stop because when you compare Tottenham to - I don't know I want to be very respectful - to Manchester United or this type of club, you do not see the same sort of rumours as down here.

"Why? I think you know and we know, it is not a moment to talk but that is the situation. The real situation is we are working so hard.

"I try to explain to you that there is a lot of pride, because he (Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy) is the first who is creating a massive club for us and the fans because he is thinking to move - in the next few years - the club into the last level.

"And then of course in our signings we are creating a new team that in the new stadium - and with the new facilities - Tottenham will be one of the best teams in the world."

Spurs can reduce the gap at the top of the Premier League to one point by beating West Ham on Friday, three days before leaders Chelsea face Middlesbrough.

The Hammers have struggled at the London Stadium this season just as Pochettino's men have failed to replicate their own good form at Wembley.

Tottenham will move to Wembley next season while their own new ground is completed and Pochettino said he might ask Hammers boss Slaven Bilic for advice.

"Yes it will be a great opportunity," Pochettino said.

"Before the game, after the game. Always is an opportunity to listen, to learn. He maybe can advise us on different things. You need to adapt to different things in a new stadium."

While Spurs are bidding to maintain their title charge, their opponents are still not mathematically safe from relegation.

And Tottenham's steady progress over the past few years, both on and off the pitch, means Bilic is casting an envious eye towards West Ham's London rivals.

"They are buying really good players and they built a really good team," said the Hammers boss.

"It's a good question, because we can't look at Man City or Chelsea or Man United, or watch European football every week and say 'yeah we want him'.

"We have to do it with a limited budget and Spurs have shown us - either because they were lucky or they had great scouts - that what they are doing is the way."

West Ham striker Andy Carroll is still struggling with a groin problem and will be handed a late fitness test.

Tottenham left-back Danny Rose is still not ready to return after three months out with a knee injury.

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