Mauricio Pochettino: I’m staying

Mauricio Pochettino says he will be staying at Tottenham but admits the club will not even try to compete with their richer rivals in the transfer market this summer.

Pochettino yesterday guaranteed he will still be Tottenham manager at the start of next season and insists there is no buy-out clause in his contract.

The Argentinian has faced questions about his own future in recent weeks, amid interest from Barcelona and Inter Milan, with some reports in Italy suggesting his contract includes a buy-out clause. He has dismissed speculation he could leave Tottenham this summer, even if he dos have a limited budget.

“No, no buy-out clause in my contract. I will stay here next season,” Pochettino said.

“There are many rumours but I am committed to the club and have no reason to leave the club. I will stay here, don’t worry.”

Spurs have already secured Champions League qualification for a second consecutive year and their sustained title challenge this season has seen them secure a finish ahead of the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.

But those clubs all have deeper pockets than Tottenham and, crucially, can offer prospective signings much larger amounts in wages.

Asked if Spurs would steer clear of players being targeted by other top teams in the Premier League, Pochettino said: “Of course. You know better than me it is so difficult.

“We talk about ‘if Tottenham are in the Champions League, it will be more attractive’. But then it’s all about if you pay or not when we talk about top players. We have unbelievable facilities but if some club is paying double the salary, then how can you convince them? We cannot lie to you. That is the reality.

“You need younger players, like Dele Alli, who preferred to come here than another club. We took a big risk on Dele Alli and now he is a massive player, one of the most important in England. But who took the risk? Us.”

For his part, Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare is ready to resolve his future next week.

Shakespeare has hinted talks with the club’s owners are imminent, with the 53-year-old expected to be given the job long term.

Shakespeare signed a contract as manager until the end of the season when he replaced Claudio Ranieri in February and has guided last season’s Premier League champions away from relegation danger, as well as taking them to the Champions League quarter-finals.

The Foxes are 11th ahead of tonight’s visit of Tottenham and with the season ending against Bournemouth on Sunday, Shakespeare — who has won eight of his 14 games — is prepared to sit down with chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

He said: “The end of the season is Sunday, so after that (we’ll talk). I expect it in the following days after Sunday. Of course in my head I have ideas on that and when we sit down I’ll be able to give them my thoughts.”

Shakespeare’s contract as assistant manager, his position under Ranieri, runs beyond June and he would revert back to that deal if nothing is finalised by the end of next month.

Meanwhile, Riyad Mahrez could be stripped of penalty duties after his misfortune in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Manchester City.

The Algeria winger slipped as he kicked the ball, touching it twice, and while he scored it was ruled out meaning he has failed with four of his last 11 attempts.

“I might, and I might tell him,” said Shakespeare, when asked if he could take the winger off spot-kick duties. “It is for discussion.”

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