Mauricio Pochettino: 'Difficult for clubs to retain star players'

Pochettino bemoans star player departures
© SilverHub
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes that teams will always struggle to retain their best players amid interest from the game's elite clubs.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has bemoaned the difficulty of teams retaining their best players amid interest from the sport's biggest and richest clubs.

The Argentine boasts a number of impressive players at Spurs, who are often the subject of intense transfer speculation in the world's press.

In January, Liverpool reluctantly sanctioned the sale of talisman Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, who in turn saw Neymar depart Camp Nou for Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

Speaking after Tottenham's 3-0 win over AFC Wimbledon in the third round of the FA Cup, Pochettino highlighted the challenge facing every club in the modern game.

"I think it's a massive example of how this business of football is, and how difficult it is for clubs to keep their best players," Pochettino told Sky Sports News.

"Liverpool is historically one of the best clubs in the world, but when a player like Coutinho wants to leave, it is difficult. Look what happened with Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United, with Zinedine Zidane at Juventus, with Luis Figo at Barcelona. There are a lot of examples.

"That is why it is so important how you care for your players. That's why you need to anticipate things. It's so important to work on the human side, to try to create a project where the players feel comfortable and happy to be with you.

"But today, when the player decides to leave, it's what happens. If another club pays the type of money [Barcelona] pay, how do you stop it? I heard what [Jurgen] Klopp said. Our job is so difficult."

Harry Kane is one such player believed to be on the radar of some of the world's biggest clubs, including Real Madrid, although the striker has been compared by Pochettino to Roma stalwart Francesco Totti with regards to potentially becoming a one-club legend.

Mauricio Pochettino embraces Harry Kane during the Champions League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund on September 13, 2017
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool24138354292547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton24410102435-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2455141535-2020
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