No fear for Pochettino over Alderweireld to Inter rumours

Mauricio Pochettino invited would-be suitors of his players for a chat with the Spurs chairman after Inter was linked to Toby Alderweireld.

Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld   -  Getty Images

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is unconcerned over reports linking defender Toby Alderweireld with Inter. The Serie A club has ambitious plans in the transfer market under its owner, the Suning Group, for the forthcoming close-season and Sky Italia reported it was ready to meet a GBP 25 million release clause in Alderweireld's contract at White Hart Lane.

Alderweireld's current deal runs until 2020 and the 28-year-old has formed an impressive defensive alliance with Belgium colleague Jan Vertonghen, with Spurs enjoying an excellent season and preparing to face Premier League title rival Chelsea in Saturday's FA Cup semifinal at Wembley.

Speaking at a media conference ahead of that match, Pochettino insisted he was unconcerned about speculation surrounding Alderweireld or any of his key players. "If some clubs are interested in some players it is very clear you need to knock on the door of [Tottenham chairman] Daniel Levy," he said.

"If any player is going to leave the club it is always our decision, the club's decision. All the players today have contracts for the next two or three years, minimum, and we're not worried. I invite all the clubs that want players from Tottenham to come to the training ground and visit our chairman Daniel Levy. [Alderweireld] is playing and it is his second season with the club. I don't think anybody has any doubts about Toby."

Alderweireld himself seemed fully committed to the cause in an interview with the Evening Standard, where he professed his belief that this Tottenham squad is destined to win major silverware. "With this team, and with the people working for it, we will get a trophy — 100 per cent," he said.

"If it is not this season, then it will be the one after. We will do everything we can to make it happen this season. Sometimes it is all about details. Last season we didn't win the league but we kept going. This season we already have 71 points — one more than we got in the whole of last season.

"Even with the disappointment of last season we have kept fighting, and this season we are in an even better position. Regardless of what happens during the rest of this season, we have to keep improving and get better for next season as well. The desire to achieve something and to get better, as a young group, is there. We want to play better than we did last season. We want to become better. It says a lot about the mental strength of the team."

Spurs will again be without Danny Rose (knee) when it takes on Chelsea, with Pochettino feeling the England left-back is more likely to return for next weekend's north London derby at home to Arsenal, as opposed to another all-capital encounter at Crystal Palace in midweek. "Arsenal, maybe. For Saturday, no," he added. "He's okay, he's doing well, he's still not with the group but he's at a very good level."

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