Former England striker and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker has warned Tottenham that they face a “seminal moment” over their imminent future with a need to start paying players the wages they demand.
Spurs head into the summer off the back of another top four finish as well as an FA Cup semi-final appearance and significant progress made on the European stage.
However, Mauricio Pochettino and Daniel Levy are dealing with a number of contractual issues, with Toby Alderweireld, Mousa Dembele and Danny Rose all seemingly set for the exit as a result of financial boundaries set by the top brass.
Now Lineker has warned Levy that he may well have to loosen the purse strings if he wants to guarantee any success in the Lilywhite half of north London, or risk losing his top stars and even possibly his manager.
He was quoted by the Irish Independent as saying: “If they want to keep them (top stars) and have a go then they need to invest a little bit and need to probably pay the wages they can get elsewhere.
“Ultimately it doesn’t matter how loyal you are if the team isn’t successful and isn’t competing on the same wage level as you get elsewhere then you are ultimately going to lose the players and they will go elsewhere.
“If that ambition is not matched then I suspect he (Pochettino) might depart and if he departs I can see some of the big stars following, so it’s a big moment for Tottenham, (chairman) Daniel Levy and the owners.”
Football Insider verdict
Tottenham’s stringent rules on finances have been more enforced by income more than anything and Levy has done an exceptional job to get the club to where there are today. However, with the Lilywhites now a regular on the European circuit and constantly challenging for a top four finish, it is time for the club to make the step up and that can only be done with financial backing. Spurs are now among the elite of English football and, whether they like it or not, their top players will be looking to pick up the same sort of money that they would at any other of the Premier League big boys. While Levy obviously cannot afford the cash that Manchester City and Manchester United can offer, there must at least be some sort of improvement made or Lineker’s warning will come true and Spurs will find themselves at square one yet again.