Erik Lamela could be nearing his return to the Tottenham squad after Mauricio Pochettino revealed he is expected to resume training this week.
The 24-year-old has not played for Spurs since October and fuelled rumours of an imminent return to Italy when he opted to return there for his treatment rather then remain at Tottenham’s Enfield base.
Lamela took to Twitter on Wednesday to play down any link with a departure from White Hart Lane, writing he was “in Roma at the moment recovering for (sic) an injury and not for any other thing that is not to do with football!”
He also added that he was “Missing White hart Lane every minute” but he should be united with his team-mates after manager Mauricio Pochettino revealed the player is due back for evaluation on Friday.
“We will expect that Lamela will be here (on Friday),” he said at his press conference ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round clash with Wycombe.
“In the moment he arrives we will assess him to see how he is. The last scan in Roma showed there was no issue, there is still pain in his hip joint but now it is important to meet us and stay here with the group and push him to keep his fitness and achieve the level of the team and be available as soon as possible.”
Asked about the ongoing speculation linking Lamela to a move away from the club, Pochettino said: “There are a lot of rumours.
“He asked to go to Rome to change the place and maybe inspire him to recover quickly, you cannot control all the rumours but he is very happy.
“We keep in touch every day and maybe he was a little worried by some comments.
“He is very happy here, very focused and has suffered a lot because he is a player who likes to play football and it shows when he is on the pitch, all the rumours do not help him.”
Lamela will not be involved on Saturday, while Harry Kane and Danny Rose will miss the games as a precaution.
Tottenham fans will be worried that talisman Kane is absent but Pochettino insists it is only a minor groin issue.
“(He suffered the injury) in the second half against Manchester City, it is a small problem,” Pochettino added.
“Saturday is not a day to take a risk, he was training in Barcelona next to the group but we hope that for Tuesday it is not a problem and he will be available.”