Mauricio Pochettino has refused to talk about speculation linking Fernando Llorente with a move away from Tottenham this summer.
Llorente, who joined Spurs from Swansea City last summer, endured a difficult first season in London, scoring only one Premier League goal and finding the net just five times in all competitions.
As a result, the Spaniard has been linked with a potential return to Italy, where he spent three years with Juventus, or a move back to Spain – he spent the majority of his career at Athletic Bilbao.
Llorente played a starring role as Tottenham beat AS Roma in their first match of the pre-season campaign, bagging an early double before Lucas Moura scored twice before half-time.
After the game, Pochettino was asked about Llorente’s future at the club amid speculation linking the 33-year-old with a move away.
However, the Spurs boss wasn’t keen to discuss Llorente’s situation.
“I’m not going to talk about individual situations because if I’m going to talk now about someone then I need to speak about everyone,” said Pochettino (via ESPN). “I am focusing on trying to work hard, trying to provide the team and every single player with the best tools to improve.
“Of course I am happy when the striker scores and feels the net – Llorente and Lucas Moura. They are working so hard.
“The preseason is a little bit different to before because of the World Cup, and we’ve got so many players away. But it’s a massive opportunity for them to show and fight for a place in the starting XI. Then there are many rumours around the team.
“I cannot talk and I don’t want to talk because I think we need to be focused on trying to work hard and trying to arrive in the best way and in the best form for the first game of the season.”
Despite Llorente’s brace against Roma, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him depart this summer – he simply wasn’t good enough last term and is unlikely to feature much, if at all, in the new campaign.