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Saturday 25 November 2017

I will be here next season - Pochettino

Spurs boss dismisses link with summer move to Barca

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino insists his side will “more competitive” next season. Photo: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino insists his side will “more competitive” next season. Photo: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
Erik Lamela. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire

Mauricio Pochettino has guaranteed he will still be Tottenham manager at the start of next season and insists there is no buy-out clause in his contract.

Spurs have already secured a second-placed finish in the Premier League and sealed Champions League football for another year.

Pochettino has faced questions about his own future in recent weeks, amid interest from Barcelona and Inter Milan, with some reports in Italy suggesting his contract includes a buy-out clause.

The Argentinian, however, dismissed speculation he could leave Tottenham this summer.

"No, no buy-out clause in my contract. I will stay here next season," Pochettino said.

"There are many rumours but I am committed to the club and have no reason to leave the club. I will stay here, don't worry. On July 3, for pre-season, I will be here, don't worry."

Tottenham announced yesterday that Erik Lamela had undergone surgery on his right hip after having an operation on his left hip at the start of April. Lamela, who has not played since October 25, is expected back for the start of next season and the club say the latest procedure will not affect his recovery time.

"The Argentina international recently had an operation on his left hip and the latest surgery will not affect the overall recovery period," read a statement on the club's official website.

Shortage

Spurs are facing a shortage of full-backs when they visit Leicester on tonight after the club announced Danny Rose underwent knee surgery on Tuesday and will miss the rest of the campaign.

Kieran Trippier sustained concussion against Manchester United last weekend and is unavailable, while Kyle Walker has a minor ankle injury and will also miss out.

Rose has been out since the end of January. Pochettino said: "I sent him a text yesterday (Tuesday) after the surgery and we exchanged some texts.

"Now it is a moment to give time to recover after yesterday and I will be here on Friday to check how he is. He will have all our support."

Tottenham's hopes of catching Chelsea are over but the team have 80 points with two games left, already 10 more than their finishing total last season and only one short of the 81 that won Leicester the league.

Spurs paid a heavy price for a dip in form last autumn when they failed to juggle the Champions League and Premier League, managing just one domestic win in six matches.

Pochettino believes Chelsea's lack of European football was a crucial factor in their success.

"In October, November we drop a lot of points in the Premier League and then it was difficult to catch Chelsea," Pochettino said.

"We need to be more competitive for the whole season. To compete with clubs like we are talking about it is too difficult to drop in some periods to catch your opponent.

"Chelsea was in a different picture. They didn't play Europa League and Champions League, no European competition, and they were capable to be consistent in the Premier League. That is why they won in the end."

Tottenham finish away at Hull on Sunday but Mousa Dembele is likely to be rested for at least one of the remaining games.

Dembele has come off the bench in the last four league matches and has been playing through the pain of an old foot injury. "After Sunday he needs to see the specialist. It's okay but maybe he is not at his best to play 90 minutes," Pochettino said.

"It is the same foot as before and we want to say we appreciate his effort a lot because it is very painful for him but he has done his best to help the team in the last few weeks, first to reach the FA Cup final and then be second in the table."

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