Tottenham working hard on new Christian Eriksen deal, says Pochettino

Eriksen, who has been linked with moves to Barcelona and Real Madrid, still has 18 months to run on his current deal but Spurs are keen to make him their latest star to sign a new bumper deal.

Published: 23rd November 2018 01:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd November 2018 01:07 AM   |  A+A-

Tottenham

Tottenham's Christian Eriksen, second left, and Harry Kane, right, celebrate after the English Premier League soccer match against Manchester United. | (File | AP)

By AFP

LONDON: Mauricio Pochettino said Thursday that Tottenham are working hard to get Christian Eriksen to commit his future to the club after tying down a clutch of other top players.

Eriksen, who has been linked with moves to Barcelona and Real Madrid, still has 18 months to run on his current deal but Spurs are keen to make him their latest star to sign a new bumper deal.

Pochettino himself, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Son Heung-min, Davinson Sanchez and Harry Winks have all signed new contracts in the past few months and the Argentine wants to see a deal done.

"He knows, we know what we are doing and we are working hard," he said. "The club is working, trying to take the best decision. Christian is going to take the best decision.

"I am not worried. In football I am never worried but I prefer he is going to sign the new contract and stay a long time at Tottenham. That would be fantastic."

Eriksen, 26, arrived from Ajax in 2013 for around 13.5 million euros (£12 million, $15.5 million) and he has become one of the top creative forces in the Premier League.

"Eriksen and Tottenham, and Tottenham and Eriksen was a very good mix," said Pochettino. "Good for Tottenham, good for Christian Eriksen. That's why I hope Christian continues to develop his career his with Tottenham."

Eriksen has not been at his best this season and has struggled since the World Cup with an abdominal injury.

He has not started a league game for Spurs since September but he started twice for Denmark in the recent international break and could be ready to play from the kick-off when Chelsea visit Wembley on Saturday.

Jan Vertonghen could also be involved as he is back in full training following a hamstring injury, which has kept him out of the past nine games.

"There's still one day more but it's very good news that he's involved again with the group," Pochettino said. "In the last two weeks he was training very well and now we wait until Friday and decide if we believe he can be involved for Saturday.

"I think it's important to have all the players fit. Jan is such an important player for us."

Pochettino also said he hopes Tottenham will be in their new stadium in January or February after a long delay.

"To wait maybe one or two months more, we need to have patience," he said. "We are so disappointed because we expect to play in 2018 and it should be ready for play before the end of the year.

"But that is not going to be possible and we need to wish and hope that in January or February we can move there and it will be a fantastic moment for everyone, the supporters, the players. It will be a massive boost."

Struggling Arsenal needed fresh start after Wenger - Emery

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has claimed the club needed a breath of fresh air after 22 years of Arsene Wenger and that he took over a team in decline.

Former PSG coach Emery has enjoyed an encouraging first few months as Wenger's successor, with Arsenal currently unbeaten in 16 matches and buoyed by impressive performances against Liverpool, Fulham and Leicester.

They remain three points adrift of the Premier League's top four but Emery appears to have injected energy into a team that was stagnating under Wenger.

"Nowadays it's very difficult for a coach to stay 22 years," Emery said in an interview with Spanish sports daily Marca on Thursday. 

"We had to rearrange the furniture, and not because of anything bad that happened previously, but to stimulate everyone again -- to shake things up, sweep under the carpets, open the windows -- in a positive way." 

Emery has made changes defensively, deploying a higher and more aggressive pressing game that has been adopted surprisingly quickly by his players. 

Bernd Leno has established himself as first-choice goalkeeper ahead of Petr Cech while the tireless Lucas Torreira has been one Arsenal's stand-out players in midfield.

"Before Wenger arrived, Arsenal celebrated winning 1-0 and were based on defensive solidity," Emery said. 

"Then with Arsene, joy was taken from attacking too and the perfect blend was the 'Invincibles' team. But over time, only technical quality and attacking freedom were taken care of and the team lost its defensive structure. 

"What I want is to unite both aspects and be more competitive. Arsenal was in decline. We had to stop that and start climbing." 

Emery said he has met Wenger once since being appointed his replacement and while he "has a lot of respect" for his predecessor, he insists changes had to be made. 

Some of the devil was in the detail. Sugary juices were removed as part of some tweaks to the club canteen and Emery says they also moved the gym closer to the training pitch. He is not keen, however, on his reputation as a meticulous coach.

"I have said to myself it is a positive thing, but it can also be negative, that you are too heavy, want to interfere with the players a lot," Emery said.

"What I do is work. I analyse matches and then I transfer it to video and I teach the players."

He added: "When I left Valencia, I told the president I was more a tactics coach than a player coach. I don't have time to analyse players. I am more tactical. Wenger was, for example, more about pure football, about players."

Arsenal travel to Bournemouth on Sunday, hoping to break a run of three consecutive draws in all competitions.

"We need to give the team another push," Emery said. "Our aim is to be in the top four but it isn´t easy. It's getting harder and harder to get there."

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