Mauricio Pochettino says winning a trophy this season is a purely personal objective and not a barometer for Tottenham as a club.

On the eve of his sixth campaign in charge, Spurs boss Pochettino admitted the time had come for him to deliver silverware.

The comments contrasted with his previously held view that a trophy was less important than cementing a place in the Premier League's top four.

Tottenham achieved that top-four aim last term while reaching the Champions League final, which they lost 2-0 to Liverpool.

Pochettino claims his goals have not changed since that result and are not necessarily an accurate measure of success.

"Of course it was always my priority [to win trophies], but it was a big priority to help the club," Pochettino told Sky Sports.

"It doesn't change that. Always my priority is to win, to win games and trophies.

"I think a few days ago someone asked me what my aim was for this season.

"My personal objective is to win a trophy, but that doesn't mean that winning a trophy is compulsory, or that it will be an unsuccessful season if we do not win a trophy.

"But personally, if at the end we do not win a trophy, for myself that is going to be an unsuccessful season.

"But that does not mean that it will be unsuccessful for the club. That is for myself, not the collective."

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino joked he would like to face Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola in the boxing ring.

Pochettino's Tottenham will travel to Manchester for Saturday's Premier League blockbuster against reigning champions City at the Etihad Stadium.

Spurs boss Pochettino has enjoyed success against Guardiola after dramatically knocking out City in the Champions League quarter-finals last season.

Pochettino said he is ready to go head-to-head with Guardiola, though he insisted football is a collective sport.

"For me, the best thing to see who is the best is to go there, brave managers, put like [heavyweight boxer] Anthony Joshua and create a ring and fight," Pochettino said.

"I don't know [who would win]. He is strong. You don't know. That is a joke. But it is not me with another coach.

"It is not me and Pep. I am so brave on the touchline because I know that is never going to happen, so I shout and everything.

"That is the point – I love to compare my team with another team. Football is a collective sport. It's not a personal competition.

"Maybe another way is to put the ball in the middle with two goals and play one-on-one. Maybe we need a competition between the 20 managers."

 

 

 

Pep Guardiola does not believe the Premier League title race will be contested between just Manchester City and Liverpool, adamant Tottenham will be challengers.

Champions City host Mauricio Pochettino's side on Saturday, with both teams having got their respective campaigns off to a winning start on the opening weekend.

Phil Foden's early goal handed City a 1-0 win in their last meeting with Spurs, which came three days after Tottenham – with the help of VAR – had edged their way past Guardiola's side in the Champions League quarter-finals.

City's 5-0 triumph over West Ham last time out has led some critics to suggest the back-to-back champions will dominate once more this season, though Guardiola does not buy into the argument, insisting Spurs are among those capable of mounting a challenge.

When asked at the pre-match news conference if he had learned anything from his recent meetings with Spurs, Guardiola said: "How good they are.

"I have spoken many times about Tottenham, you know my words and my opinion on them. They're the second best team in Europe. For me, that's enough.

"Since I came here to England, every season they were a real contender. First season, finish second. Last two seasons, always they were there. Always they were tough, tough games.

"All of the [big six are title contenders]. I'm impressed with how Chelsea played against tough teams like United and Liverpool.

"They didn't win but I am surprised at how well they played. Frank Lampard's team. We saw United, the quality they have up front with a new mood.

"Arsenal bought good players, with [Nicolas] Pepe, David Luiz and people in front like [Alexandre] Lacazette, [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang. [Dani] Ceballos is incredible. A top player, quality. Tottenham are the same. They are really good contenders."

Raheem Sterling shined in City's demolition of West Ham, scoring a hat-trick while VAR chalked off a Gabriel Jesus goal which the 24-year-old assisted.

Despite Sterling having picked up where he left off last term, though, Guardiola has demanded even more from the England forward.

"There are many [great players], he is one," Guardiola said.

"Look at the top six teams and you will find many, many players. The Premier League has incredible players.

"We have many, but Raheem still. I didn't watch all the other games but he's playing so good from the beginning, being clinical, but we want more, he wants more. It was just the first game of the Premier League season."

Mauricio Pochettino was delighted to hear Jose Mourinho thinks Tottenham are Premier League title challengers - even if he also backed Manchester City's "B team".

Former Manchester United and Chelsea boss Mourinho stated last week that reigning champions City can only realistically be stopped by Liverpool or Spurs this season.

He even suggested City's second-string XI would be strong enough to contest for the Premier League, such is the quality in Pep Guardiola's squad.

The comments amused Pochettino ahead of Spurs' trip to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, although he was nonetheless grateful to hear Mourinho has such a high opinion of his players.

"I love Mou! He's so clever, he is so sarcastic sometimes. That's why he's one of the best managers in the world. I respect his opinion," Pochettino told a news conference.

"Of course, [I'm] grateful because a manager like Mourinho believing we have the potential to be a contender, I think it's important. We have our faith and our belief in us, but that compliment helps us to believe a little bit more, of course."

Spurs knocked City out of the Champions League quarter-finals last season on away goals after a dramatic second leg saw VAR rule out a potential winner from Raheem Sterling.

However, Pochettino's men finished 27 points behind City in the Premier League table, a gap the former Southampton boss feels is important to bridge.

"We are going to fight again this season against ourselves to try to improve our balance," he said.

"If we analyse the last five years, we always improve every season in different things but, in the Premier League, I think we decrease in our performance or in the points we got.

"That is our challenge: to improve ourselves, to improve our numbers in the Premier League. Of course, in Europe we have improved and become more competitive and got to the final of the Champions League.

"In the Premier League we decrease and that is the point today: that we want to improve and to try to reduce the distance to City and Liverpool, who were the two best teams in the Premier League [in 2018-19]."

Mauricio Pochettino admits he does not know if Christian Eriksen will still be a Tottenham player by the end of the European transfer window.

The Premier League's transfer window may have shut, but clubs in Italy and Spain still have time to complete their business, with Eriksen linked to Juventus and both Madrid clubs.

The Denmark playmaker is out of contract at the end of the season and in June confirmed his eagerness to "try something new".

Tottenham have since signed two midfielders, Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso, to further cloud Eriksen's uncertain future.

"I don't know," Pochettino told reporters when asked whether the 27-year-old would stay in London.

"My point is to help all of the players, my job is to support them all until they maybe decide to take a different way in their career."

Eriksen was used as a substitute during last weekend's come-from-behind win over Aston Villa and will be considered for a starting XI berth against Manchester City on Saturday after impressing Pochettino during training.

The Tottenham boss denied Eriksen's contract situation would have any influence over his team selection at the Etihad Stadium.

"For me it is the same between a player who has one year on his contract and one who has five years," he said.

"The selection is not for the length of the contract, it is for the performance. 

"After five years you should know to avoid this question, because you know I will take the decision based only on performance and not personal situation with the club."

Argentina international Lo Celso could make his Spurs debut against City after skipping the Villa clash, but Dele Alli remains sidelined by a hamstring injury.

Son Heung-min is set to serve the final game of a three-match ban imposed towards the end of last term.

Rodri and Tanguy Ndombele made their Premier League debuts on the opening weekend of the new season and two of the division's biggest new arrivals will go head-to-head when Manchester City take on Tottenham.

Ndombele came to Tottenham's rescue against Aston Villa, his equaliser paving the way for a late Harry Kane double as Mauricio Pochettino's side came from behind to win 3-1.

Two-time defending champions City, meanwhile, had a far easier outing against West Ham – Raheem Sterling scoring a hat-trick in a 5-0 triumph, with club-record signing Rodri fitting straight into Pep Guardiola's engine room.

Now, the two midfielders will do battle on the pitch on Saturday, as two of the Premier League's elite clubs lock horns in Manchester.

 

CITY TO CONTINUE STERLING RECORD AGAINST SPURS?

Sterling was outstanding in the Premier League in the 2018-19 season, scoring 17 goals and providing 10 assists.

The 24-year-old thought he had sealed a magnificent Champions League victory over Pochettino's side back in April, only for his stoppage-time goal to be disallowed by VAR, though Phil Foden's header ensured City got their revenge in the league three days later.

England forward Sterling picked up where he left off with a sublime hat-trick against West Ham, with Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero also finding the net.

Sterling has been involved in six goals in his last six games for City against Spurs in all competitions (five goals and one assist), including netting four in his last three meetings with them at the Etihad.

City have won their last four Premier League games against Tottenham, who looked set to be frustrated by Villa in their opening fixture.

Spurs amassed 31 shots in total – more than any other Premier League side on matchday one – though it was through the unlikely source of Ndombele that Tottenham finally restored parity.

Kane did the rest, securing the points by striking twice. Though the England captain failed to score in any of his first 14 Premier League games in August, he has since netted in his last three top-flight outings in the month.

City, of course, have a deadly striker of their own. Aguero has scored 96 league goals at the Etihad - one more will see him go joint-third with Alan Shearer (St James' Park) for the most Premier League goals scored at a specific stadium.

HEAD TO HEAD: RODRI V TANGUY NDOMBELE

Tottenham are not known for spending big money on new players, but Pochettino received the backing his managerial efforts have deserved when chairman Daniel Levy paid up for France midfielder Ndombele.

Spurs paid Lyon a reported £55million (€62m) to secure the 22-year-old, who made an instant impact for his new employers.

City, meanwhile, brought in a club-record signing of their own, Rodri arriving from Atletico Madrid as Fernandinho's heir apparent for a cool sum of £62.8m (€70m). 

While Rodri will likely be tasked with shielding City's defence, Ndombele will almost certainly be given more freedom at Spurs, as was the case at the weekend.

Ndombele had two shots against Villa and created one chance. However, Rodri made more passes (72 to 55), with a passing accuracy of 90.3 per cent, with Ndombele managing an 83.5 per cent accuracy.

Tottenham's man made more tackles, though surprisingly it was Rodri who made more successful dribbles – three compared to Ndombele's zero.

Looking back on last season, Ndombele was more creative for Lyon, making 47 chances across 34 league games, compared to Rodri's 17 for Atleti. The former also had seven assists, while his Spanish counterpart managed just one, despite making 1,031 passes in the opposition’s half.

FORM GUIDE

City lost just once in pre-season – to Wolves on penalties – and after a shoot-out win over Liverpool in the Community Shield, hardly broke sweat against West Ham.

Guardiola's side remarkably won their last 14 league games of the campaign last season and the victory over West Ham means they are just three wins short of matching their record winning streak of 18 from 2017.

Spurs' season ended on a low note with their Champions League defeat to Liverpool, but they enjoyed notable wins over Juventus and Real Madrid in pre-season, as well as a shoot-out triumph against Bayern Munich.

Their opening fixture against Villa proved a tricky one but they eventually found a breakthrough. It was just their second win in their last six matches in the Premier League.

HISTORY SAYS...

Tottenham have taken just four points from their last nine Premier League visits to the Etihad Stadium, losing on seven occasions.

City, meanwhile, have not lost their opening home league match in a top-flight season since 1989-90 – they are unbeaten in 24 matches since that reverse against Southampton.

Spurs lost their last six away Premier League matches of the 2018-19 season. Not since 2000 have they lost seven in a row on the road.

Pochettino was, however, the first opposing manager to win away from home against Guardiola in a league match, doing so in February 2009 with Espanyol when Pep was in charge of Barcelona.

The only manager to win two away league games against Guardiola? Jose Mourinho, of course!

Mauricio Pochettino insisted he has "no issue" with Jan Vertonghen after leaving the defender out of his squad for Tottenham's 3-1 Premier League opening-day win over Aston Villa.

Belgium international Vertonghen started 22 of Tottenham's league games last season but was overlooked against promoted Villa, with Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld getting the nod ahead of him and Serge Aurier on the bench.

After John McGinn's early opener gave Villa a lead they held until the 73rd minute, an equaliser from Tanguy Ndombele and a double from Harry Kane helped Spurs to victory.

Pochettino said Vertonghen's omission was purely tactical, telling Sky Sports: "With all the players fit, in the future we're going to struggle to find the starting 11. We have more than 25 that are knocking on the door of the first team.

"We have plenty of very good players in all the positions. We cannot play with 13 or 14. It's always the judgement of the manager and coaching staff. If we lose, my decisions were so bad; if we win, we keep going.

"I'm going to play the players who I believe deserve to play. There's not any issue.

"Jan for sure, like any other player who didn't play today, is going to have to work hard for the opportunity to play, and show me that I was wrong when they didn't play."

The introduction of Christian Eriksen as a second-half substitute seemed to lift Spurs nine minutes before Ndombele scored with a superb long-range strike on his debut.

Pochettino admitted his first-half game plan did not work, saying: "We were a little bit confused but it's always my fault because I'm the manager.

"Our positional game ... it didn't work in the first half, to be honest. We started to make rash decisions and found positions that didn't help us. That was my fault.

"Second half we fixed that problem. We helped the team to move the ball better.

"Adding Christian fresh helped the team to achieve the victory, but we are talking about a top-quality player."

Opposite number Dean Smith handed debuts to four of his 12 summer signings, with Tom Heaton, Bjorn Engels, Trezeguet and Wesley all featuring for the first time in competitive action for Villa.

Smith dismissed the suggestion his new signings might have struggled to gel, saying: "It's not that hard, actually.

"I've worked with five of the players before so the integration has been quite seamless. They've all adapted and now we've learned the standard of what we need. Anybody who comes here is going to find it tough against the team Mauricio has got. It's a great learning curve."

Looking ahead to his side's clash with Everton at Villa Park, Smith added: "We always looked and thought Villa Park would be massive for us this season.

"We'll go and put in performances for the fans at Villa Park and I hope we can be a threat."

Tanguy Ndombele scored a sensational debut goal as Tottenham came from behind to beat Premier League new boys Aston Villa 3-1 thanks to Harry Kane's late double.

John McGinn's ninth-minute goal seemed set to mark Villa's return to the top flight in style, with Champions League finalists Spurs – playing without the benched Christian Eriksen for over an hour – struggling to break down Dean Smith's side.

Eriksen's introduction sparked urgency into Tottenham's attack and, after Tom Heaton had made a fantastic stop to deny Davinson Sanchez, Ndombele slammed home a brilliant equaliser at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. 

Another terrific Heaton stop kept Eriksen at bay, but Villa's resistance was ended when Kane capitalised on a mistake from Jack Grealish before excellently tucking in his second to add gloss to a hard-fought win.

Mauricio Pochettino admitted Tottenham were still "vulnerable" with transfer windows across Europe's other top leagues open.

Spurs signed the likes of Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon during a strong window, which closed in the Premier League on Thursday.

However, they face losing players – including Christian Eriksen – to clubs in Spain, Italy, Germany or France, with those markets remaining open.

Pochettino, whose team host Aston Villa on Saturday, said closing the window earlier in the Premier League had left Spurs exposed.

"I think that makes Tottenham more vulnerable," he told UK newspapers.

"That's between the club and the players, and there are different personal situations that will happen until the end when the windows shut across Europe."

Eriksen and defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen have entered the final years of their deals and could leave for free at the end of the season.

Departures would hurt Spurs' chances of success in 2019-20 and Pochettino is desperate to win his first trophy since taking over in 2014.

"My personal feeling, now I'm about to start my sixth season, is that a good season for us is to lift a trophy," he said.

"Carabao Cup, FA Cup, Premier League, Champions League, you know. It's not to put pressure on the team or the club but if you ask me to be successful this season it's not [just] to finish in the top four.

"For me, it's to win some title. Because if not, after last season and the [Champions League] final, the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, it's like 'come on, we are always there but we cannot touch the glory'."

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino fears the early end to the transfer window in England could create a "mess" for Premier League clubs.

Tottenham squeezed Ryan Sessegnon and Giovani Lo Celso through the door on deadline day and kept hold of Danny Rose after reportedly rejecting an offer from Watford.

Pochettino confirmed left-back Rose remains a "very important part" of his plans but did not delve into Christian Eriksen's situation.

Linked to both Madrid clubs, the creative midfielder could still leave for LaLiga as the transfer window in Spain does not shut until September 2, consistent with France, Italy and Germany.

"It is not right to talk about personal situations. It is all rumours. We cannot waste time talking about every single rumour," Pochettino told reporters when asked about Eriksen.

"The players who are here, I am more than happy to have.

"Of course, we are at this point where European clubs have 20 days more and I think that was a big mistake.

"We open the door to other clubs to cause a confusion within your squad. I think we need to go back and change to operate in the same way [as the rest of Europe].

"The Premier League cannot give this advantage to the European clubs. It can create a mess in clubs in England."

One of the clubs said to be interested in Eriksen, Atletico Madrid, took Kieran Trippier away from Spurs last month.

That deal and the loss of Juan Foyth to an ankle injury until September leaves Pochettino with a decision to make at right-back, not that the manager is concerned.

"We can create players who can play in different positions," he said. "We try to find the best solution and I love the challenge to try and create that dynamic."

Tottenham begin their Premier League campaign at home to Aston Villa on Saturday.

Tottenham will be without several players for their Premier League opener against Aston Villa but Mauricio Pochettino insists he is happy with his squad.

Dele Alli and new signing Ryan Sessegnon have been ruled out of the match with hamstring injuries, while defenders Juan Foyth and Ben Davies are sidelined by ankle and groin issues respectively.

Star forward Son Heung-min is set to serve the second of a three-game suspension, leaving manager Pochettino light on options at both ends of the pitch.

The Argentinian appeared frustrated last month when he claimed to have no influence over transfers as Tottenham took time to strengthen.

Versatile teenager Sessegnon and midfielder Giovani Lo Celso eventually arrived on deadline day, following club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele through the door.

"I am very happy," Pochettino told reporters on Friday. "I was happy with my squad and to add some more players, they can bring good energy and help us to achieve what we want.

"I was focused on trying to work hard to coach in the best way.

"I hoped the club would do the job that we want to try to bring players in and to try to be competitive with our opponents."

Pochettino admitted 19-year-old wing-back Sessegnon, who agreed a six-year deal, could be held back before entering the first-team equation.

"He doesn't have that much experience in the Premier League, maybe he is a little bit behind Lo Celso and Ndombele in age – they have more experience playing in a top level," he said.

"Maybe he needs three or four weeks out of the group, and we will see how he adapts.

"I think we have made signings for the future. The players will have opportunities to play. There is no pressure on him, or Lo Celso or Tanguy, they arrive from different leagues and they still need to adapt to the new philosophy and the new club.

"It is the responsibility of the senior players to help them, but it is important to give them time."

Three months on from a gripping and relentless title race reaching its conclusion, the Premier League is back.

Manchester City are aiming to become the first English team since Manchester United in 2008-09 to win three consecutive top-flight crowns, although Liverpool enter the campaign buoyed by their status as European champions.

Tottenham have finally bolstered Mauricio Pochettino's imperious management by making some big moves in the transfer market, while Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea find themselves in various stages of transition and possibly vulnerable to the top-six ambitions of Leicester City, Wolves and Everton.

Ahead of the big kick-off, nine Omnisport journalists considered the above and predicted their Premier League top six for 2019-20. Here's how our scores averaged out.

1st – Manchester City

A near unanimous choice as champions, eight of our panel backed Pep Guardiola's men to make it three in a row on the back of 100- and 98-point hauls in the past two campaigns.

STRENGTHS: Even allowing for Leroy Sane's knee injury and potential departure, City boast a stacked attack where Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez will be bolstered by triumphant international outings. Their midfield dominance will only be enhanced by a fit-again Kevin De Bruyne and record signing Rodri.

WEAKNESSES: Vincent Kompany's departure leaves Guardiola a senior centre-back light and without one of the most inspirational leaders the Premier League has seen. Benjamin Mendy's fitness woes and questions over Oleksandr Zinchenko and Angelino's capacity to produce elite performances over the course of a season mean left-back is as close as City come to a problem position.

2nd – Liverpool

Despite their unforgettable heroics in Europe, seven of our writers believe Jurgen Klopp's men will be the bridesmaids once more.

STRENGTHS: The best defence in the league, including a pair of full-backs as good as any operating in tandem in world football. Similarly, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane remain a fearsome attacking proposition for all opponents.

WEAKNESSES: There is onus on Naby Keita to improve and Jordan Henderson to excel in his advanced role over a prolonged period as midfield creativity is often lacking. The drop-off between the first-choice front three and the back-up underlines a relative lack of depth that a quiet transfer window did not address.

3rd – Tottenham

Outside of the top two, Spurs were the only other unanimous pick to finish in the top six.

STRENGTHS: Tanguy Ndombele was a headline-grabbing addition and, although Pochettino would undoubtedly have preferred an earlier arrival, Giovani Lo Celso should ease the creative burden placed on Christian Eriksen and thrive behind Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

WEAKNESSES: An ageing defence could find itself overworked in protecting the talented but error-prone Hugo Lloris. Having been a position of strength, Kieran Trippier's departure leaves Spurs looking slightly flimsy at full-back.

4th – Manchester United

The mixed nature of United's preparations – from strong friendly showings to a now typically disjointed effort in the transfer market – resulted in the widest range of predicted placings, with two of our panel placing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men outside the top six.

STRENGTHS: Pace and flair in attack, enhanced by the raw but exciting Daniel James. United paid top dollar for Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire but the pair should add steel to what had become a troublingly leaky defence. On ability alone, Paul Pogba remains in this column.

WEAKNESSES: Romelu Lukaku's departure felt increasingly necessary but United now lack a proven, consistent goalscorer. Despite his status as a club legend, Solskjaer's lofty position in the sack race odds tells you all you need to know about a manager whose credentials – or lack thereof – will be under the microscope at the first sign of trouble.

5th – Arsenal

Despite two votes going in favour of the Gunners ending their Champions League absence this time around, the consensus was Unai Emery's team will fall short despite providing their fair share of entertainment.

STRENGTHS: Adding record signing Nicolas Pepe to an attack featuring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette means the Gunners can do serious damage to any opponent and could become a must-watch team. Dani Ceballos excelled as Spain claimed glory at the European Under-21 Championship and could prove to be one of the most shrewd acquisitions of the transfer window.

WEAKNESSES: The other element in Arsenal's appeal to neutrals is a defence that might never veer too far away from shambles. David Luiz and Kieran Tierney were much-needed arrivals on deadline day but a new-look backline has plenty to prove.

6th - Chelsea

Leicester's top-six credentials were given strong consideration but Chelsea just edged out the Foxes, despite Frank Lampard's lack of top-flight experience and having their hands tied in the transfer market.

STRENGTHS: Lampard's affinity with the supporters means last season's poisonous negativity surrounding Maurizio Sarri's reign should be a thing of the past. The likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and injured duo Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are expected to thrive as Lampard gives chances to graduates from the best youth system in the country.

WEAKNESSES: Eden Hazard's combined goals (16) and assists (15) last season accounted for almost half of Chelsea's Premier League goals. Making up for that shortfall will be nigh on impossible. Sarri was not flavour of the month in west London but the fact is a coach poached by Serie A heavyweights Juventus has been replaced by a man with one year of senior managerial experience.

Mauricio Pochettino admitted he is "worried" about Dele Alli after revealing the Tottenham midfielder is set to miss the start of the new season with a fresh hamstring injury.

Alli was ruled out of Tottenham's final pre-season friendly against Inter on Sunday and is now in a race against time to be fit for next Saturday's Premier League opener against Aston Villa.

The 23-year-old missed a number of matches with a similar injury problem last season and Pochettino is concerned about the amount of time one of his star men has spent on the sidelines in his four years with Spurs.

"I don’t know if the club will communicate the time [he will be out] but I don’t believe he's going to be ready for the start of the season," Pochettino said at his post-match news conference.

"It's the same type of injury [as before]. Of course we are worried. He's still so young - just 23 years old and he has had many, many hamstring problems in the last few years. 

"We are here to try to help him. I think it's a minor injury - probably a few weeks before he can be available again and be with the group."

Tottenham were also without Serge Aurier, Juan Foyth, Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier for their friendly with Inter on home soil, which they lost 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes - Lucas Moura's early strike being cancelled out by Stefano Sensi.

Pochettino conceded after the match a number of his players will be short of fitness come the start of the new campaign.

"With Juan I think the medical staff are going to provide an update in the next few days," he said. "I cannot say more because I don't know exactly how much time he will be out for. 

"For sure it's a tough injury and for sure it is many weeks he is going to be out. We hope he can recover as soon as possible.

"Serge, Victor and Dier were at the training ground. For different reasons they are short in their preparation. Rather than play today it was important to train and to try to be fit as soon as possible.

"We are going to arrive in a very good condition [for the first game], but maybe not in an ideal condition. 

"Some players are a little bit shorter in their preparation. It’s not ideal, but it’s after going to be such a tough season and we are happy. 

"We need to improve. We have one week to prepare for the game but we're going to arrive in a good condition to try to beat Aston Villa."

Club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele made his home debut in Sunday's International Champions Cup match and Pochettino is not ruling out more new signings before Thursday's deadline, despite a lack of recent dialogue with chairman Daniel Levy.

"I am happy with my squad," he said. "You can see today a lot of younger players. 

"Every season we are always open to improve the squad and to try to find the right players to be stronger and better and there are still four days. We'll see what happens in the next few days.

"But Daniel is in Miami and I haven't had the opportunity to talk to him."

Juan Foyth sustained a "very painful" ankle injury as Tottenham beat Bayern Munich on penalties to claim the Audi Cup, said Mauricio Pochettino.

Foyth was taken off on a stretcher during the second half of Wednesday's pre-season clash at the Allianz Arena, where Spurs triumphed 6-5 on penalties after Bayern battled back from 2-0 down.

The Argentina international has been featuring at right-back, with Spurs yet to replace Kieran Trippier after his move to Atletico Madrid.

Pochettino is now awaiting an update on Foyth with the start of the Premier League season less than two weeks away.

"I need to talk with the doctor now," Pochettino told a post-match news conference.

"He twisted his ankle but at the moment I cannot update. I saw when he was leaving the pitch and he said to me his ankle was very painful. 

"For sure we will get an update in the next few hours or the next few days." 

Bayern have already lost Serge Gnabry to injury during pre-season and Kingsley Coman hobbled off shortly after his second-half introduction against Spurs.

The France international has had terrible luck with fitness throughout his career, while Bayern are yet to replace departed wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

Coman has been tipped to step up in the absence of the veteran duo and Kovac does not think the knock he took is serious.

"It does not seem too bad," Kovac said to German broadcaster ZDF. "It was just a kick."

Reports in Germany, meanwhile, claim Bayern have submitted an official offer to Manchester City for Germany winger Leroy Sane.

Premier League rivals Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are among the candidates to win the Best FIFA Men's Coach award, while Jill Ellis heads up the Best FIFA Women's Coach nominees after she led the United States to World Cup glory.

Guardiola guided Manchester City to the Premier League, EFL Cup and FA Cup in a glittering 2018-19 campaign that saw Klopp's Liverpool push them all the way for domestic glory.

The Reds won the Champions League for the first time in 14 years, beating Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham in the final, and the Spurs boss is also in the running for the FIFA award.

There is no place on the shortlist for Massimiliano Allegri despite the former Juventus coach having clinched his fifth consecutive Scudetto with the Bianconeri, and his successor Maurizio Sarri missed out even though he won the Europa League, reached the EFL Cup final and secured a Champions League spot with Chelsea.

Ellis, meanwhile, is up against Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman whose side the USA beat in the World Cup final. The coaches of both semi-finalists, England's Phil Neville and Sweden's Peter Gerhardsson, are also on the shortlist.

Italy's Milena Bertolini is also in contention along with Lyon's Reynald Pedros, Japan Under-20s' Futoshi Ikeda, and Arsenal's Joe Montemurro.

The Best FIFA Men's Coach nominees:

Djamel Belmadi (Algeria)
Didier Deschamps (France)
Marcelo Gallardo (River Plate)
Ricardo Gareca (Peru)
Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham)
Fernando Santos (Portugal)
Erik ten Hag (Ajax)
Tite (Brazil)

The Best FIFA Women's Coach nominees:

Milena Bertolini (Italy)
Jill Ellis (USA)
Peter Gerhardsson (Sweden)
Futoshi Ikeda (Japan U-20)
Antonia Is (Spain U-17)
Joe Montemurro (Arsenal)
Phil Neville (England)
Reynald Pedros (Lyon)
Paul Riley (North Carolina Courage)
Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands)

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