Mauricio Pochettino claims Chelsea signing Alvaro Morata turned down a move to Tottenham for fear he would be unable to compete with Spurs striker Harry Kane.
The Real Madrid forward completed a £70 million transfer to Stamford Bridge earlier in the month after being linked with a move to Manchester United, though Romelu Lukaku's record-breaking switch to Old Trafford ended speculation.
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Tottenham were also reported to be interested in signing Morata as manager Pochettino went about strengthening his forward line, though the Argentine has revealed the Spain international was not keen to compete with Kane for game time.
“Morata talked about me in the media he said, ‘Mauricio called me’. That was from the beginning — two years ago or more,” Pochettino said.
“When we spoke he said to me, ‘Why do you want me if you have Harry Kane?’.
“You know? If I go to try to sign a striker, they will all say, ‘Uh, gaffer. You want me for what? To be on the bench? Because it’s Harry Kane, I can’t compete with Harry Kane’ or [at other positions] Hugo Lloris or Christian Eriksen.
“It’s so difficult to convince good players to come and then be on the bench. Then the problems start.”
Kane was again awarded with the Premier League Golden boot last season, the second time in as many years, after scoring 29 goals.