Mauricio Pochettino has said he “cannot confirm” whether Kyle Walker is happy or not at Tottenham Hotspur amid growing speculation over the player’s future, as well as revealing that there will be no internal discussion over the future of his players until the end of the season.
This week the Independent exclusively revealed that Walker has decided that his future lies away from the club, after he was left on the bench for two of the biggest games of Tottenham’s season.
Pochettino elected to play Kieran Trippier in the FA Cup defeat to Chelsea as well as the final north London derby at White Hart Lane against Arsenal, with the manager uncertain whether Walker was physically able to play two matches in one week.
Walker has been named in Tottenham’s 21-man squad for the Premier League fixture against West Ham on Friday night, but in his press conference ahead of the match Pochettino repeatedly avoided answering questions on the player’s future at the club, instead insisting that all contract talks were off until the end of the season.
“Kyle is on the list for Friday’s match and I cannot confirm whether he is happy or not because these are just rumours, and if I commented on every rumour my press conferences would be two hours long,” Pochettino said.
“But every single player on the squad list for Friday is focused on trying to help the club achieve.”
When asked why Walker had been dropped for two of Tottenham’s biggest games of the season, Pochettino replied: “For me, every game is big. Crystal Palace is a big game and so was Swansea.”
There have been growing rumours this week that the impressive performances of Trippier — who has displaced Walker in Tottenham’s starting XI — will see the player rewarded with an improved new contract.
But Pochettino indicated that the club are not currently concerned with discussing the future of their players until the title-race is run.
“There are no decisions until the end of the season,” he said. “We are focused on trying to finish the season and then on the day after we can speak about all the other things and discuss what will happen next season.”
The Spurs manager also bemoaned the number of transfer rumours surrounding the club in recent weeks.
Tottenham may be second in the Premier League, four points behind league leaders Chelsea with just four games remaining, but according to Pochettino they are already the undisputed champions of spurious transfer talk.
“I understand the rumours and understand the business but it seems that Tottenham are always the trending topic when it comes to rumours,” he added. “We are the champions of rumours.”