Pochettino: Tottenham to make decision within days on £15m deal go-ahead
By Harry Sykes
Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that Tottenham will make a decision next week on whether they will play their home matches at Wembley next season.
Spurs confirmed last month that they have struck a deal with stadium chiefs to extend the original deadline of 31 March by a month until 30 April.
The arrangement expires on the same day Tottenham face Arsenal, which could be the final north London derby to take place at their 118-year historic White Hart Lane home.
Asked for an update on the stadium situation at his media conference on Thursday, manager Pochettino explained the final decision is just days away.
“Poch says Spurs will make the decision about whether or not to move to Wembley for the 2017-18 season next week,” reported Football London in their live blog of the press conference (1.33pm).
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Chairman Daniel Levy admitted in the club’s recently-released financial accounts that the board want to be convinced the building work is on track at their new stadium before committing to a temporary move to Wembley.
In a statement, Tottenham declared their intention remains to start the 2018-19 season at their redeveloped 61,000-seat ground.
Until they are comfortable with the building timetable, Spurs will keep open the option of spending next season at White Hart Lane.
Despite the widespread assumption that this will be the final year at the ground that has been home since 1899, the club have not said publicly that is the case.
Football site Squawka claim that Spurs chiefs would need to pay £15million in rent to host games at Wembley in 2017-18 while White Hart Lane is redeveloped.
The new White Hart Lane is expected to cost between £400million and 450million and the club have promised it will be the best ground in the Premier League, featuring state-of-the-art facilities, a huge single-tier stand and industry leading corporate hospitality.
Work on the rest of the scheme – including 585 new homes, a 180-bedroom hotel, offices, a health centre and a club museum – will take the total cost of the project to more than £700million.
Meanwhile, Pochettino’s side are back in action on Saturday when they take on title rivals Chelsea in a mouthwatering FA Cup semi-final clash.
Coincidentally, the match will take place at Wembley, where Spurs had mixed results earlier in the season during their European campaign.
In other Tottenham transfer news, the London giants have won the race to sign a 32-goal striker who has taken the league by storm.