Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is confident his best-laid transfer plans will come off over the summer – and joked there will always be room for Gareth Bale at White Hart Lane should he ever leave Real Madrid.
Spurs have produced some progress under the Argentinian coach this season, reaching the final of the Capital One Cup where they lost to Chelsea.
However, the north London club failed to sustain a challenge for the top four in the Barclays Premier League, and are currently sixth heading into the final three games which continue at Stoke on Saturday.
Pochettino, who took charge following an impressive spell at Southampton, is confident Spurs’ scouting work will pay dividends in the summer.
“We have worked very hard in the last six months to identify our targets, to have a clear idea and picture, we analyse and assess all the situations to deliver in the summer,” said Pochettino, who must resolve the futures of fringe players such as Emmanuel Adebayor, Roberto Soldado and Aaron Lennon.
“You know you do not have much time to decide, the holidays are coming and we need to be ready to take the decisions.
“We have three games left and when we have finished the season, then in this moment we can explain our plan.”
Pochettino added: “We have a plan and we have a target, but the most important thing is we have to deliver and move forward.”
Pressed on transfer speculation which also include goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, Pochettino added: “This is not the moment to explain the individual cases, or rumours about different players.”
Bale joined Real Madrid from Spurs for a world-record B#85.3million in 2013.
The Wales international, however, has gone through a testing campaign in Spain, with his agent hitting back at comments from television pundit Roy Keane criticising the winger’s performance in Madrid’s midweek Champions League defeat to Juventus.
Pochettino believes the 25-year-old can become a major player at the Bernabeu once he has fully acclimatised.
“If he is not comfortable in Madrid, we keep his place warm back here. We are open for him!” the Spurs manager joked.
“It is, of course, not easy when you arrive at a huge club like Real Madrid, and the way they play.
“Gareth Bale has the quality to make a success, he just needs time.
“When (Zinedine) Zidane went to Real Madrid, the first season was very difficult for him, with a lot of critics. He needed time to adapt.
“The cultures are very different between England and Spain. It is very difficult for English players to arrive in Spain, there is a Siesta, you eat later.
“It is better when you come from Spain to England, when you go there, you need one or two seasons to adapt.
“I think here it is better to develop your passion in your job as a player or manager, but in Spain, for the weather, for the culture, it is difficult to adapt when you come from England. He just needs time.”
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