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

Pochettino bemoans star player departures
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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.

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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 City27233179205972
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27175551193256
3Liverpool27159361313054
4Chelsea27165649232653
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs27157552242852
6Arsenal27136851361545
7Burnley279992124-336
8Leicester CityLeicester2798103940-135
9Everton2797113246-1434
10Bournemouth2787123141-1031
11Watford2786133747-1030
12West Ham UnitedWest Ham2779113446-1230
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2777132536-1128
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton27610112236-1428
15Crystal Palace2769122542-1727
16Swansea CitySwansea2776142037-1727
17Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2776142347-2427
18Southampton27511112840-1226
19Stoke CityStoke2767142753-2625
20West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom27311132140-1920
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