Tottenham not close to January signings - Mauricio Pochettino
LONDON -- Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham are not close to any January signings and suggested that clubs have to pay over the odds to buy players mid-season.
Chelsea and Liverpool have already added to their squads this month, signing Ross Barkley and Virgil van Dijk respectively, while the Manchester clubs are vying for the signature of Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez, whom Arsene Wenger has said he will replace if he leaves.
Despite the spending among their top-six rivals, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said on Thursday that it is "difficult" to do business in January -- a message repeated by Pochettino ahead of Saturday's match against Everton.
"Until today, now, no-one is close to arriving in this transfer window," Pochettino told a news conference on Friday. "Maybe in [the next] five minutes, something happens! But before the press conference, nothing is close.
"There are a lot of rumours in the media. I think you know the business [of football], how it is today. In three-and-a-half years at Tottenham, I saw minimum 100 names in the media. In the end, we've signed a few. Rumours!"
Barkley's contract at Everton was due to expire in the summer and he joined Chelsea for a cut-price £15 million, while Liverpool made £75m Van Dijk the most expensive defender on the planet before selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £142m last week.
Dele Alli remains Spurs' only January signing under Pochettino and he was immediately loaned back to MK Dons for the remainder of the 2014-15 season. The manager believes that opportunities to make shrewd January signings are limited.
"If you want to sign players [in January], there must be an opportunity and it's difficult to find these opportunities," Pochettino said. "Like Liverpool or Barcelona, they pay a lot of money and you cannot stop the players like Van Dijk and Coutinho from leaving.
"Or it's players that have six or four-and-a-half months until the end of their contract -- like the Alexis [Sanchez] rumours. It's always difficult in this transfer window."
Pochettino said he was not worried by the club's potential inactivity, however, adding: "I am confident always. Then it is up to us to deliver and try to win. Personally, I never look next to me at what another team is doing. It's about how I believe, how we believe, and make things happen. We must compete in the best way, help the team and players to be better and compete with the team that we have.
"I'm not concerned, I'm not worried. We're working. We're awake to the market. If something is available on terms we can take, of course we'll do it. But if not, no."
Last week, Harry Kane insisted he would remain happy at Spurs as long as they start to win trophies and Pochettino said December's Premier League Player of the Month was determined to deliver silverware to his boyhood club.
"Harry is happy. Always, I told our fans, he is happy. He loves Tottenham and everyone wants to win -- us, the club, Daniel, the players, the fans.
"And you want to win in the place you love. For Harry it's so special to win titles and trophies at Tottenham. Of course, at the moment he achieves a lot of individual awards, of course he would like to offer our fans and the club collective trophies. He is top because of this. He always wants to win."
Pochettino is without Toby Alderweireld (hamstring), Harry Winks (ankle) and Danny Rose (knee) for Everton's visit but he hopes to have Rose available in a "couple of weeks." The left-back is undergoing treatment at St. George's Park, England's training base in the Midlands, for a change of scene.
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.