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Tuesday 21 August 2018

Pochettino coy on Llorente future

Tight-lipped: Tottenham manager Pochettino
Tight-lipped: Tottenham manager Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino refused to discuss the future of Fernando Llorente after the Spanish striker scored twice in Tottenham's 4-1 International Champions Cup win over Roma in San Diego.

Llorente is understood to be up for sale by Spurs this summer after failing to make a big enough impression following his move from Swansea at the start of last season.

But the star may have given Pochettino pause for thought after his first-half double against Roma, which was matched by Lucas Moura in a comfortable win.

Pochettino told a press conference: "I'm not going to talk about individual situations because if I'm going to talk now about someone I need to talk about everyone.

"I am focusing on trying to work hard, trying to provide the team and every single player with the best tools to improve. Of course I'm happy when the striker scores and finds the net."

Pochettino's pre-season plans have been hit by a swathe of post-World Cup absences, with nine of the club's players who featured in the semi-finals in Russia still missing.

There is set to be even worse to come for Pochettino as he prepares to lose South Korea midfielder Son Heung-min for up to four games due to his appearance in the Asian Games.

Pochettino added: "The pre-season is a little bit different to before because of the World Cup because we've got so many players away, but it's a massive opportunity for them to fight for a place in the starting XI.

"I cannot change the reality (about Son) and I'm not going to cry. We miss a lot of players due to the World Cup and we need to adapt. Of course Son is a very important player for us, but I cannot change the reality even if it is hurting us."

Son's new deal is one of the few tied up by Spurs this summer, along with a contract extension for Erik Lamela, while rumours continue over possible moves for the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Jack Grealish.

"There are many rumours around the team," added Pochettino. "I cannot talk and I don't want to talk because I think we need to be focused on trying to work hard and get in the best form for the first game of the season."

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