Kane put Mo­rata off Spurs, claims Po­chet­tino

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON: New Chelsea striker Al­varo Mo­rata turned down a move to Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur be­cause he feared the com­pe­ti­tion from striker Harry Kane, Spurs man­ager Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino has claimed.

Mo­rata, 24, joined cham­pi­ons Chelsea from Real Madrid last month for a re­ported fee of £58 mil­lion (RM329 mil­lion).

Po­chet­tino spoke to Mo­rata about a move to Spurs two years ago and said the Spain in­ter­na­tional was de­terred by the pres­ence of the pro­lific Kane at White Hart Lane.

“Mo­rata talked about my­self, in the me­dia he said: ‘Mauri­cio called me.’ That was two years ago or more,” Po­chet­tino said, in com­ments pub­lished by sev­eral Bri­tish news­pa­pers yes­ter­day.

“He said to me: ‘Why do you want me if you have Harry Kane?’”

Un­like their Pre­mier League ti­tle ri­vals, Spurs are yet to make a sig­nif­i­cant close-sea­son sign­ing and the new cam­paign is just over a week away.

Spurs have mounted stir­ring ti­tle chal­lenges in both of the past two cam­paigns and Po­chet­tino said the strength of his first XI was de­ter­ring po­ten­tial new re­cruits.

“You know, if you go to try to sign a striker, they will say: ‘Eh gaffer, you want me for what? To be on the bench?’ I can’t com­pete with Harry Kane or Hugo Lloris or dif­fer­ent play­ers,’” he said.

“It’s so dif­fi­cult to con­vince good play­ers to come and then be on the bench. Then the prob­lems start.”

He, how­ever, re­it­er­ated his be­lief that Spurs chair­man Daniel Levy would strengthen the squad but said Tot­ten­ham could not go toe-to-toe with the rich sides of Manch­ester.

“The prob­lem is so clear,” he said. “We are not a club to­day that can com­pete with Manch­ester United and City for a player. We can­not fight. We are in a dif­fer­ent way.

“But the thing is Daniel is very keen to sign like me. Th­ese type of player we are talk­ing about they are not easy to find.” Agen­cies

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