Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that Christian Eriksen could still leave the club before the transfer window shuts on the continent.
Eriksen made his desire to leave clear and was linked with a big-money move to Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid or Manchester United, but neither Madrid club appear interested and United can no longer sign players after the close of the English window, leaving the Dane in limbo.
He started Spurs’ season-opener against Aston Villa on the bench but was introduced with just over an hour played at 1-0 down, helping his side overturn the deficit to win 3-1.
But despite his performance, Pochettino has left the door open for the playmaker to leave, suggesting that anything is possible while the window remains open for the teams on the continent.
“You know more than me, things can still happen,” Pochettino said.
“It is not in my hands if something happens or not.
"Still we need to wait until September 2 and hope there are not too many changes or not too many problems for us.
“We need to assess the circumstances. We will see what happens between now and September 2. Like we can change our minds, a player can change his, so until September 2 it is difficult to tell you if this will be the bravest group of players.
“The team is still not settled how I expected it to be. We are still working in trying to make sure it is finished come September 2. That will be the moment to have a big conversation with the whole squad and settle the principle.”
Defender Jan Vertonghen was left out of the squad entirely for the opener despite not appearing to be carrying an injury of any sort, and Pochettino was tetchy in his response when asked if they player was fit.
The Belgian is in the final year of his contract and his omission from the squad that faced Villa has sparked rumours that he could be leaving, with fellow centre-back Toby Alderweireld in a similar position.
“One thing is [Vertonghen] is fit,” Pochettino said.
“Another is to decide if to include or not in the starting 11 or squad. That is completely different.
“You don’t need to ask him after the game or before if you see him is there a problem or not. He is fit. My decision was that he was not involved.”