COMMENT By Richard Parks
Mauricio Pochettino is getting tough with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy ahead of the opening of the summer window.
The manager has dropped a few hints in recent weeks that he is no longer content to play by Levy’s rules of building a title-winning squad on a shoestring budget.
A Telegraph report has gone further by claiming he will not sign the £163,000-a-week new contract the club are preparing for him unless he gets “promises” on the direction the club is taking.
It is said that Pochettino not only wants top-notch new signings but also new deals to be handed to star men Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier and Hugo Lloris in a pre-World Cup contract frenzy.
It is said that the star sextet will be offered extended terms this summer and manager Mauricio Pochettino wants them all sealed before the tournament starts on 14 June before committing his own future to the club.
Clearly, the Argentine is fed up with operating on a budget that pales in comparison to Arsenal and Everton, never mind big spenders Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.
Pochettino wants the club to invest big-time in new players, and to pay what it takes to hold on to the star men already at the club. With the market allowing players more lucrative deals than ever before, Spurs are going to have to adapt to the new reality, or face being left behind.
Pochettino has worked wonders to establish the north Londoners as Champions League mainstays, but there is a sense that it is starting to fall apart for the vibrant and exciting team he has assembled.
It is imperative Spurs hang on to the holy trinity of Kane, Alli and Eriksen, as well as other seniors such as Vertonghen, Dier and Lloris.
In a perfect world, Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Mousa Dembele would also pen extensions, but that seems unlikely.
Realism must be fused with ambition to take Tottenham to the next level. Pochettino is clearly using his own situation as a negotiating tool to force Levy’s hand. Few would begrudge him this muscle-flexing.
In other Tottenham news, it has been revealed by a club insider that Spurs are working on sensational deals to sign dazzling duo, and the arrival of a WORLD-CLASS player who would light up the new stadium is also on the cards.