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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he wanted to sign Inter Milan striker Keita Balde in the summer of the 2017.

Keita left Lazio for Monaco just over a year ago, but things didn’t work out in France and he is now back in Italy on loan at Inter.

The striker was introduced as a substitute as Inter came from a goal down to beat Spurs 2-1 in their Champions League opener on Tuesday night, a defeat that left Pochettino “disappointed and annoyed”.

Before the game, Pochettino admitted he tried to sign Keita for Tottenham before he joined Monaco.

“Yes, it’s true. I’ve been following him since he grew up in Barcelona while I was at Espanyol,” the Argentinian told Sky Sports in Italy (via Calcio Mercato).

“He is a player with an interesting profile for us, I wanted him but then he chose Monaco. But he remains an excellent striker.”

Spurs have struggled to recruit capable cover for Harry Kane up front, with Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente both proving to be of insufficient quality in that regard.

Keita’s pace and profile would have been ideal, but any striker who joins Tottenham will play second fiddle to Kane, which may have put him off.

Kane has scored twice in six games and has generally looked rusty so far this season.

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