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Pochettino defends Tottenham record, says winning trophies would build egos

Pochettino defends Tottenham record, says winning trophies would build egos

ESPN

The transfer window for Europe's biggest clubs is open again. Transfer Talk has been scouring the world's media and setting our correspondents loose to see who could be heading to/out of your club this month.

Jurgen Klopp wants to bolster his midfield options further next season with the signing of highly rated Italian Sandro Tonali, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. 

The 18-year-old Brescia midfielder is valued at around £30 million, but his value could rise as interest in him increases.

Roma, Juventus, and both Milan clubs have been tracking the Italy U19 international, and he looks set to move next summer.

Liverpool midfielder James Milner contract expires at the end of the season, while Adam Lallana may be moved on after an extended spell blighted by injuries has seen him fall down the pecking order. 

If the Reds will be looking for new faces to replace them, Tonali would fit the bill, and give them a different option in the centre of the park.

Another player reportedly on the Anfield radar is Paris Saint-Germain's Adrien Rabiot, whose contract expires at the end of the season and is highly unlikely to stay at the Parc des Princes.

According to Paris United, the 23-year-old has rejected interest from Tottenham Hotspur and is waiting for the Premier League leaders to make him an offer for a deal to sign him as a free agent.

08.30 GMT: Spain coach Luis Enrique says Real Madrid midfielder Isco needs to play more minutes if he is to keep a firm grip on his spot in the national team.

A regular under Luis Enrique in La Roja, Isco has started just one game in all competitions since the beginning of the year, leading to speculation that the 26-year-old may seek a move away from the Bernabeu.

Luis Enrique attended Real Madrid's 4-2 win at Espanyol on Sunday, in which Isco came off the bench to play the final 20 minutes.

He told Movistar: "As it is right now I don't know if I would call him [Isco] up. We will treat each case separately, there are still two months to go before we give the list of players. I would prefer that he play more minutes but that's football."

Spain next play when they take on Norway in an international friendly in Valencia on March 23.

08.00 GMT: Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola insisted that the club wants Callum Hudson-Odoi to stay after the 18-year-old marked what could be his final appearance at Stamford Bridge with an impressive goal in Sunday's 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup fourth round.

Hudson-Odoi was picked to start by Maurizio Sarri less than 24 hours after sources told ESPN FC that he had handed in an official transfer request to Chelsea as he attempts to force a January move to Bayern Munich, whose latest bid for the winger is believed to be in the region of £35m.

His goal was greeted by chants of "Hudson-Odoi, we want you to stay" from Stamford Bridge. After the match the academy prospect refused to be drawn on his future, but Zola made Chelsea's position clear.

"We want him to stay as well, we were singing for him to stay," Zola said. "I don't know [what will happen but] we want him to stay. He has a contract, we are training. We believe in what he can do for this team.

With help from former Tottenham and Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli, we show you a step-by-step guide to a transfer.

Can a 44-year-old man cut it in the Premier League? Our writer suffers -- and suffers some more -- through a medical at Everton.

Olivier Giroud has been in and out of the Chelsea team this season, and he could be eyeing a return to his homeland, according to Goal. 

Gonzalo Higuain made his Chelsea debut this weekend, having signed on loan from Juventus until the end of the season, and this has meant Giroud remains backup at the club despite Alvaro Morata's impending move to Atletico Madrid.

The French striker has just one goal for the club in the Premier League this season, and has only made six starts in that competition.

However, Chelsea are likely to want to keep him until the end of the season as Higuain will not be able to play every game, and the club are still competing on four fronts.

Paris Saint-Germain have made an offer of £26m for Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye, according to RMC, and confirmed by Sky Sports, but the Merseyside club are holding out for more.

Marco Silva's side were dumped out of the FA Cup by Millwall this weekend, and will now be looking to save some face in the Premier League where they currently sit 11th.

It might be too late in the window to sell Gueye, who is one of their better performers so far this season, but with a big enough offer they will surely be tempted to sell the 29-year-old.

The French champions have also been linked with Watford's Abdoulaye Doucoure, but are likely to face a similar problem when it comes to signing the player, as there might not be enough time for the selling team to sort a replacement.

Football Whispers' transfer algorithm gives the likelihood of rumours happening a score out of 5.

Ivan Perisic to Arsenal -- 3.0

The Croatian was left on the bench for Inter's clash with Torino, adding weight to the rumours that he will join Arsenal before the end of the transfer window.

James Tavernier to Southampton -- 3.0

The Rangers captain is a target for the south coast club according to the Mirror, with Rangers wanting £8m for the right-back.

Reece Oxford to Nottingham Forest -- 2.5

Once considered one of the most promising English defenders around, Reece Oxford is now deemed surplus to requirements at West Ham, and is a target for Nottingham Forest according to the Nottingham Post.

Steven Bergwijn to Manchester United -- 2.2

The Old Trafford club have asked PSV to keep them informed of any incoming bids for the Dutch winger, as they are likely to want to join the bidding, report the Mirror.

Eden Hazard to Real Madrid -- 2.0

The European champions have made the Belgian their top target this year, according to AS, but they will not make a bid until the summer.

Mauricio Pochettino has defended his Tottenham record after crashing out of two cup competitions in a week and said winning silverware only serves to build egos.

Tottenham were defeated by Chelsea on penalties in the Carabao Cup semifinals before losing to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup fourth round.

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Fear, paranoia, difficult behaviour and constant battling with club officials and players led to the inevitable, writes Rob Dawson.

When Boca Juniors and River Plate were set to meet in Argentina's most important match, Buenos Aires lost its mind, writes Wright Thompson.

Pochettino made seven changes to his side that lost to Chelsea and after the 2-0 defeat at Selhurst Park, said Spurs' development is not measured by what they win.

"We are going to create a debate that to win a trophy is going to help the club," he said. "I don't agree with that. That only builds your ego. In reality the most important thing is being consistently in the top four and playing in the Champions League. That is going to help the club to achieve the last step.

"The club is doing fantastically well. It's so successful. In the last four or five years we've been fighting in different ways to achieve what the club needs, to be in the level of Chelsea, United, City, Arsenal or Liverpool. People wish we could win some trophies. But, being realistic, we are a team not built to win titles still."

Tottenham are third in the Premier League and face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League round of 16 but a downturn in form has coincided with the loss of Harry Kane and Dele Alli to injury.

Pochettino's men face Watford next, with Son Heung-Min available earlier than expected after South Korea were knocked out of the Asian Cup by Qatar.

"It's true, this season has been tough," Pochettino said.

"But to be a contender is always difficult for us. Now the realistic targets are trying to be in the top four, to try and be close to Manchester City and Liverpool and reduce the gap. Another is to try to beat Dortmund and be in the next round.

"That will be tough. We are competing against a team who are doing fantastically well in Germany, who are top of the table and have come back off their [midseason] holidays. They are all fresh and we are the opposite. But we have to be positive. We are still in two competitions, in a good position in the Premier League and the Champions League, which is a massive motivation for the club. We have to be strong."

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