Pochettino & Levy figuring out Alderweireld’s future

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino explained how he and Daniel Levy are working together on a new deal for, or possible sale of, defender Toby Alderweireld.

Contract talks with the Belgium international have broken down over recent weeks, and the manager and club chairman will now have to find a compromise between business and football regarding the centre-back.

“We share the decisions, between Daniel, us and now Steve [Hitchen, chief scout]. Of course, the last word is between us,” the Spurs manager said.

“If we disagree, it is like when you disagree with your wife or your girlfriend – you fight until one gets the final decision! We started on opposite sides and then we started to build our personal and professional relationships.

“It’s about balance. As a man of football, sometimes between business and football decisions, you need to find the right balance. That is why we need to share every single decision on what happens in the club.

“If Daniel takes his own decision, and it affects the changing room and the football, I think it’s not a good balance. If I take a decision, and don’t check with him, it’s going to affect his job. We are working all together on all the decisions.

“On my side, as a manager, I can say ‘I want this’ or ‘I don’t want this.’ But it can affect the financial side. And if you take only decisions on the financial side, that can affect the football.”

Alderweireld has been nursing an injury since November that has kept him on the sidelines despite the player himself insisting he is ready to play, but the Argentine manager remains cautious.

The defender will miss Wednesday’s FA Cup fifth-round replay against Rochdale, and also looks set to sit out next week’s Champions League clash against Juventus.

“Look, he is still recovering,” Pochettino said when asked if he will play against Juve. “He is still not participating with the group. The answer is clear.

“It’s our responsibility and it’s impossible to explain everything. It’s just about being careful about the player because we want Toby 100 percent ready to play. And then it’s my decision to pick him. But if you have your best players at 100 percent it increases your level and he’s going to help.

“But we don’t take our decisions based on public opinion. We are professional and when we take a decision, it’s because we have assessed and analysed, we have thought 100 times to try to take the best decision for the team and for the player.”

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