By Alex Stevens
Mauricio Pochettino wanted Tottenham to sign Sadio Mane from Southampton during the summer window, according to a report.
Football site Squawka claim that the Argentine “is known to be a huge fan” of Mane and wanted Spurs to be at the head of the queue to prise him from St Mary’s Stadium.
But it is said that the London giants could not compete with the fee or wages on offer from Liverpool and the player duly moved to Merseyside in a deal that could rise to £38million depending upon add-ons.
The message from the boardroom came shortly before Tottenham smashed their transfer record to sign Moussa Sissoko from Newcastle on deadline day for £30million.
Sissoko has flopped since making the move from St James’ Park, with his 10 appearances failing to yield either a goal or an assist.
The attacking midfielder has also been criticised by Pochettino for his lack of work rate and was axed from the matchday squad for last Saturday’s 2-1 league defeat to Chelsea.
By contrast, Mane has been a huge hit at Liverpool, where he has formed part of an electrifying front line alongside Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino.
The Senegal international has scored six goals and supplied five assists in 14 matches for the Merseysiders, with all six of his strikes coming in the Premier League.
Mane has helped catapult Liverpool to second in the league table and added a new dimension to an attack that lacked a super-quick player last season.
In other Tottenham transfer news, Spurs are to make a January approach for a Manchester United 27-year-old.