Mauricio Pochettino: Chinese have broken the market but no offers to Spurs

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Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Mauricio Pochettino: Chinese have broken the market but no offers to Spurs” was written by David Hytner, for The Guardian on Sunday 15th January 2017 22.30 UTC

Mauricio Pochettino said none of his Tottenham Hotspur players has been tempted by offers from the Chinese Super League and expressed his relief he did not face a situation of the kind Chelsea have with Diego Costa.

Pochettino has watched in amazement as leading players have signed for clubs in China – and many more have been the subject of lucrative offers, including Costa.

Chelsea fear the striker has been tempted by the proposal from an unnamed Chinese club, which would pay him £30m a year and Antonio Conte left him out of the squad who won at Leicester City on Saturday. Conte insisted after the game that it was because Costa had a back injury.

Pochettino said the Chinese had “broken” the market with their ability to make such extraordinary offers and he suggested that when such money was on the table it was difficult to refuse. Thankfully for him, none of his players has been  targeted.

“Have there been any offers from China for my players? No,” Pochettino said. “My reaction to the Costa story was indifference because, luckily, it is not my problem. What can you do when an offer like this arrives from a country that is like this? It’s crazy money. It looks like they broke the market. If the offer to Costa is true, it’s unbelievable, unbelievable. But we will see what happens.”

Pochettino believes the atmosphere he has created at Spurs means his players are focused on the prize of the Premier League trophy and nothing else. Tottenham’s 4-0 home win over West Bromwich Albion made it six league victories in a row, although Spurs remain seven points behind the leaders, Chelsea.

“We are together, every player is happy and part of our Tottenham family, and we have a very good atmosphere around the club,” Pochettino said.

“Our supporters are amazing and there is a very good mix between the supporters, the players and the staff. It’s amazing, day by day, how we feel and how we live at the training ground – that is an important thing, in the end, to try to win big things. It’s an advantage for us.”

Pochettino will take his team to Manchester City on Saturday in confident mood, saying Spurs fear no one. “We are showing after 21 games we can compete with everybody and we are in a very good position,” he said. “It is true the gap with Chelsea is still big but there are a lot of games ahead until the end of the season.”

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