PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino has revealed just how close Tottenham were to signing a £60million player a few seasons ago.
Pochettino was appointed as Tottenham manager in July 2014 following a successful spell with Southampton. He spent five years at the club, guiding them to second in the Premier League and the Champions League final.
However, his honeymoon spell was soon over and chairman Daniel Levy decided to usher in a new era. Jose Mourinho came in to replace Pochettino in November 2019, although his reign didn’t exactly go to plan.
After a 14-month absence from the game, Pochettino returned to manage PSG in January 2021.
He recently persuaded the French giants to sign Achraf Hakimi, who arrived at the Parc des Princes for £60m. Pochettino attempted to bring the Morocco international to Tottenham, but had no luck.
“Achraf is a young player [I have] been following since [I was] at Tottenham,” he told UEFA.
“We were on the edge of signing him for Tottenham, but then he went to play for Dortmund.
“He has a great capacity to run, his physical potential is huge. He is young, he’s maturing at the defensive level, but he makes a lot of contributions in attack.”
Tottenham did solve their right-back problem in the summer by signing Emerson Royal from Barcelona. The 22-year-old, capped four times by Brazil, joined for €30m (£25.7m).
However, Hakimi would have undoubtedly been a great addition to the squad. He has the potential to become one of the best wing-backs in world football.
Last term, he notched seven goals and ten assists in 37 Serie A appearances. His stunning campaign helped Inter to end their 11-year wait for a league title.
Tottenham target makes contract decision
West Brom keeper Sam Johnstone, who has been heavily linked with Tottenham, has reportedly made a decision over his future.
The England international’s current deal at The Hawthorns expires in June 2022. The Sun claim that he has postponed negotiations with the Baggies to prioritise their promotion push.
However, the decision could end up working in Spurs’ favour. Should he not be satisfied by the wages on offer, then Johnstone would be able to leave for free on July 1.
Spurs chief Fabio Paratici is supposedly looking at the 28-year-old as a long-term replacement for Hugo Lloris.