Mauricio Pochettino has hinted that Tottenham may have decided to drop their interest in signing West Brom striker Saido Berahino.
Spurs have been persistently linked with the 22-year-old after a high-profile failure to land him last summer, which is believed to have prompted Berahino’s poor form and attitude this season.
Now, Pochettino has cryptically suggested that the forward’s reaction to the collapse of the move has caused him to reassess his suitability for the Tottenham squad.
“It’s our responsibility to sign not just the right players, but the right people,” Pochettino told the London Evening Standard. “Talent is at the same level as character and personality.
“We want to find good players but also good people. People who share our philosophy, behave well, show respect to the club and their team-mates and supporters; respect the badge.
“This is very important for success. It’s my philosophy. This is the way we want to create a big team here and have success in the future.
“We have spent time to find the right people to give advice and information. It’s hard, it’s true, but we must do it.
“There are a lot of names on the market and it is easy simply to sign a player. But to get the right player, who has respect for the changing room, is our responsibility.”
Spurs, who have been linked with a renewed bid for Coventry teenager James Maddison, are now believed to be looking beyond Berahino in their search for a striker.
Basel’s Breel Embolo has been linked with a move to White Hart Lane, although reports in Spain suggest Pochettino has cooled his interest in 20-year-old Barcelona striker Sandro due to the Catalan club’s insistence on inserting a buy-back clause into any deal.