Mauricio Pochettino is looking forward to the European transfer window closing as it will allow him and his squad to have clarity regarding Christian Eriksen's future.

Denmark international Eriksen has been strongly linked with other clubs, most notably Real Madrid, having admitted a desire for a new challenge.

Eriksen's contract expires at the end of the season and media reports have suggested he could run his deal down, allowing him to leave on a free transfer.

Pochettino restored Eriksen to the starting XI against Arsenal, after he was benched for Tottenham's last Premier League outing, and he opened the scoring in a 2-2 draw.

With the European transfer window closing on Monday, Spurs look set to keep Eriksen for the time being and Pochettino is eager to draw a line under the recent speculation.

"We have massive quality and from tomorrow [Monday, when the European transfer window closes] we will all be on the same page," Pochettino told Sky Sports.

"With Christian Eriksen we have to wait, but it shows it was the right decision to play him. He showed a great performance and helped the team to get a point here.

"I am optimistic and happy to work with the squad and try to fight for big things for the club.

"What happened in the past happened in the past and you cannot fix it. It is about drawing a strong line for the future. It's important to move on and learn from the past."

Spurs striker Harry Kane heaped praise on the Denmark playmaker and is adamant Eriksen remains committed to the Spurs cause.

"He is a fantastic player," Kane added. "I've been playing with him for five, six years. He is doing the best he can.

"You can see how much the goal meant to him. As a squad we are fighting and sticking together and giving everything we can on the pitch."

Mauricio Pochettino wanted Christian Eriksen's future resolved before Sunday. "Tomorrow, we are going to know if Christian is going to be with us or not. That's the most important thing," he said the day before.

The fact the midfielder was thrown back into the starting line-up for the north London derby suggests this particular transfer saga has, for now, been paused. This felt like a message to Real Madrid, and any other suitors, that Eriksen will be a Tottenham player after Monday's European transfer deadline.

"We need to wait," he said to Sky Sports after the game against Arsenal. "But that [performance] showed that Christian Eriksen was alright." That was an understatement.

If there have been any doubts about the commitment of Eriksen, who has admitted he wants a new challenge, then they were dispelled emphatically in a breathless 2-2 draw at Emirates Stadium. Eriksen offered everything Pochettino could have asked for.

Would he do enough out of possession, or cruise through the match in a bubble of uncertainty? He ran 12.22 kilometres, more than any other player on the pitch.

Would fitness be a concern after comparatively little football of late? Only two team-mates clocked a higher average speed than his 7.25km per hour in the north London sunshine.

If his head has been turned, would he offer enough of that championed 'grit' that only seems to become a prerequisite for a footballer against a team's bitter rivals? Only David Luiz and Harry Winks made more tackles, and he was booked for bringing down Granit Xhaka for good measure.

Most pertinently of all, would he still have enough quality to bring life to a Spurs attack that were shut out by Newcastle United a week ago? He managed six crosses, two chances created, four shots on target out of four attempted - and one easy tap-in to break the deadlock.

It was not Eriksen's fault Spurs surrendered a commanding 2-0 lead and ended up largely hanging on for a point. It was not he who let Alexandre Lacazette dance through the defence to score, or who failed to track Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's run for the equaliser. When Moussa Sissoko ballooned a shot over the bar at the end of a promising break deep into injury time, Eriksen had out-sprinted everyone else in white to take up a far better position. It wasn't his fault he was ignored.

In many ways, this game epitomised the development of Pochettino's team: from also-rans, to Premier League and European elite, to somewhere oddly in between. As clinical, controlled and committed as they were in the first half, the meek submission to the building Arsenal pressure in the second was much more like Spurs of 2019 than of the past few years.

After all, they are now winless at the Emirates in the league since November 2010, have managed just nine victories from 21 top-flight games in 2019 and haven't beaten anyone away in English football since January.

Pochettino was adamant rumours he could step down after the Arsenal game were complete nonsense, but it's hard to ignore the growing sense of staleness creeping in. More and more, that Champions League final in June has the feeling of a ceiling reached, rather than another step taken on a path to greater heights.

With Eriksen in the team, in this form, with this focus, there could be new life breathed into Spurs. We'll know for certain come Tuesday morning whether he is, for a few more months at least, a Tottenham player. It could have a huge say on their immediate future.

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang believes Tottenham were fortunate to leave Emirates Stadium with a 2-2 draw.

Spurs found themselves 2-0 up in the first half, punishing Arsenal's errors at the back after a Bernd Leno fumble allowed Christian Eriksen to score and Granit Xhaka fouled Son Heung-min for Harry Kane's penalty.

But Alexandre Lacazette hit back just before the break with an emphatic strike and Aubameyang sealed a deserved point 19 minutes from time, steering in from Matteo Guendouzi's cross.

Arsenal were unable to take full advantage of their second-half pressure, ultimately settling for a draw, and Aubameyang felt Spurs were a little lucky not to suffer defeat.

"I think in the first half we deserved to score two goals," told Sky Sports. "We did a great job.

"It was a tough game and I think we deserved more. When you go in the dressing room after scoring a goal it is always positive, so it was crucial to score [before half-time]."

Aubameyang has now scored in seven successive Premier League starts at the Emirates, a run bettered only by Thierry Henry, who netted in nine in a row at Highbury.

He is also Arsenal's top-scorer among the players in the current squad, his 44 goals overtaking the tally of Mesut Ozil.

Unai Emery still seems to prefer using Aubameyang wide on the left and did so against Spurs throughout, but the Gabon international is content to fulfil whatever role is required of him.

"It was a great pass from Guendouzi [for the goal] - he looks at me and he knows I'm going to run," he said. "I like to play as a striker, but when the team needs me on the wing I go and I try my best."

Arsenal battled back from two goals down at home to draw with rivals Tottenham on Sunday in the final Premier League match before the first international break of the season.

The two north London sides were aiming to bounce back from defeats to Liverpool and Newcastle United respectively but had to settle for a point apiece, despite Spurs leading 2-0 late in the first half of a gripping derby.

The result leaves Arsenal fifth in the table on seven points, while Tottenham are ninth, having not won since the opening day of the season.

Elsewhere, Everton extended Wolves' winless start to the season with a 3-2 victory at Goodison Park thanks to Richarlison's brace in another entertaining back-and-forth.

GUNNERS SHOW SPIRIT IN ANOTHER CLASSIC

North London derbies tend to live up to the hype and this one did not disappoint, with Arsenal recovering from a demoralising first 40 minutes against Tottenham.

Christian Eriksen returned to the Spurs XI following speculation surrounding his future and netted the opener against the run of play, before Harry Kane converted a penalty foolishly conceded by Granit Xhaka to double the visitors' advantage.

However, Alexandre Lacazette superbly reduced the arrears before half-time and a chaotic second half saw big chances at both ends, with Kane striking the post.

Tottenham could not hold on as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang expertly flicked in to equalise, while an offside flag denied Sokratis Papastathopoulos the winner as both sides pressed in the closing stages.

MILESTONES FOR ERIKSEN AND KANE

It was wholly predictable that Eriksen would have a key role on his recall and the close-range finish brought up an impressive milestone.

By scoring his 50th Premier League goal, the midfielder became the first Tottenham player to net 50 times in the competition while also providing a half-century of assists.

There was history for Kane, too, as he drew level at the top of the all-time north London derby top-scorers list. Along with Bobby Smith and Emmanuel Adebayor, he now has 10 in all competitions.

The Spurs duo would surely have preferred to reach such landmarks in a victory, as appeared likely when Kane struck.


RICHARLISON BRACE SETTLES ANOTHER THRILLER

The day's top-flight action got off to a barnstorming start with three goals in the first 12 minutes between Everton and Wolves at Goodison Park.

Richarlison capitalised on a Conor Coady mix-up with Rui Patricio to superbly strike the opener, before the visitors quickly hit back through Romain Saiss – the midfielder prodding past Jordan Pickford after good work from Adama Traore on the right.

The response at the other end was equally swift, however, as Alex Iwobi nodded in Gylfi Sigurdsson's cross.

Jordan Pickford made a superb stop from Patrick Cutrone to keep Everton in front, but Raul Jimenez benefitted from chaos following a long throw to bravely nod into the corner 15 minutes from time.

Richarlison had the last laugh, towering above Willy Boly to head in the winner and then provoking a stoppage-time challenge that saw the same defender sent off.

Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got the goals as Arsenal battled back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home to Tottenham in a pulsating north London derby on Sunday.

Arsenal coach Unai Emery was starting Lacazette, Aubameyang and record signing Nicolas Pepe all at once for the first time, and the former pair proved vital in bailing out the Gunners' haplessness at the back.

Christian Eriksen – restored to the starting XI after being benched – fittingly put Spurs in front early on after a rapid breakaway and Harry Kane made it 2-0 from the penalty spot, but Lacazette restored some Arsenal hope when thrashing home just before the interval.

That goal inspired a marked improvement from the Gunners in the second half and, although Kane hit the woodwork, Arsenal levelled through Aubameyang to seal a hard-fought point, meaning Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino remains without an away north London derby win in the Premier League.

Tottenham's early-season rustiness was nowhere to be seen when taking the lead on the break 10 minutes in, as Son Heung-min fed Erik Lamela for a low shot and Eriksen was on hand to tap in when Bernd Leno fumbled.

After having several other chances go begging, Spurs finally made it 2-0 five minutes before half-time – Kane emphatically sweeping home a penalty after Granit Xhaka's rash challenge on Son in the area.

But Lacazette struck in stoppage time, nudging the ball beyond Jan Vertonghen and blasting in to put Arsenal back in the hunt.

Arsenal piled pressure on after the break, with Matteo Guendouzi forcing Hugo Lloris into a fine save before Sead Kolasinac somehow missed from a couple of yards out.

Still Spurs worried them, however, with Kane sending a rasping drive against the post after a clever one-two with Eriksen.

Arsenal deservedly got their equaliser 19 minutes from time, as Aubameyang met Guendouzi's cross and prodded home.

What does it mean? Arsenal their own worst enemy again

Emery's men would have probably been good value for all three points, but they gave themselves a huge uphill task with the Spurs goals, which both came about via errors – Leno's fumble and Xhaka's foul.

Thankfully they have excellent forward capable of bailing them out, but what it is the point of having a fancy facade if you are built on sand?

Bright Son is Spurs' leading light

Spurs looked at their most threatening when playing on the break and Son was vital to that, with his pace, awareness and ability on the ball stretching Arsenal's defence all over the place.

Xhaka predictably rash

If there was one player from this match you could predict doing something particularly daft, it would have been Xhaka. The Swiss midfielder's foul for Kane's penalty was mystifying and entirely unnecessary, yet, because it was him, it was also predictable. When will he learn?

What's next?

After the international break, Arsenal return to action at Watford on September 15. Spurs host Crystal Palace the day before.

Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen start for Tottenham in Sunday's derby clash with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

Unai Emery is also fielding a bold line-up, with Nicolas Pepe in a front three alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette for the Gunners for the first time.

Eriksen started the 2-2 draw at Manchester City but has otherwise been restricted to the role of substitute amid uncertainty over his future at Spurs.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino effectively set a deadline of Saturday for any prospective Eriksen move, with Real Madrid and Barcelona said to be interested.

Defender Vertonghen has also had his future called into question as he has yet to make an appearance for Spurs this season, but he joins Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez it what appears to be a back three.

Arsenal start with a fearsome attacking front line, while Lucas Torreira is recalled to the midfield after coming off the bench during the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool last week.

Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham should be judged differently to other top Premier League clubs because of reduced spending power in the face of a reported £600million stadium debt.

Tottenham borrowed vast sums to finance the construction of their new 62,000-seater home venue, which opened well behind schedule in April.

Three months later, a long transfer standstill ended with the signing of teenage winger Jack Clarke from Leeds United and Spurs negotiated further deals for Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon as their close-season spending reportedly totalled around £100m.

North London rivals Arsenal are believed to have splashed around three quarters of that figure on a single player – club-record signing Nicolas Pepe – and Pochettino highlighted the difference in attitudes ahead of Sunday's derby at Emirates Stadium.

"Arsenal, in the last two years, signed [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, the best striker in Germany, [Alexandre] Lacazette, the best striker in France and, one year after, Pepe," Pochettino said.

"If you see us in five years, we didn't sign one [expensive] striker and now our main striker is Harry Kane but our second specific striker is 17 years old, Troy Parrott.

"That is the difference in the projects. I don't want to say one is wrong and another is good. It's only that the way we operate is completely different and, afterwards, we need to compete.

"Mercedes compete with Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull [in Formula One]. After, we compete in the same race and, if you judge, the judgments need not only to be on the race but the whole process." 

Tottenham reached last season's Champions League final despite making no new additions in the previous two transfer windows but lost 2-0 to Premier League runners-up Liverpool.

Pochettino raised the Anfield club's squad transformation under Jurgen Klopp as one of a number of examples of how competitors are conducting their business in contrasting fashion.

"Different clubs ask the bank for £600m to invest in the team, like Barcelona or different clubs," he said.

"They create a debt by signing players, putting the debt on the pitch, trying to win.

"We are different. We need to create a legacy for the future. In this period we are suffering the restrictions but it's normal.

"We need to work hard to find a way to compete in this very tough league – in a different way to our rivals."

Will he, or won't he?

Neymar has dominated headlines throughout the transfer window, with the Paris Saint-Germain star eyeing a Barcelona return.

However, it seems he will not get what he wanted before Monday's deadline…

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR GIVES UP ON BARCA MOVE

Neymar will remain at Paris Saint-Germain after failing to secure a move to Barcelona, according to reports.

The PSG superstar wanted to return to LaLiga champions Barca, just two years after his world-record move to Paris.

Barca had tried to negotiate a deal with PSG, however, L'Equipe says Neymar has already notified the club and family that he will stay at the Ligue 1 holders.

 

ROUND-UP

- Juventus are gearing up for a late move for Tottenham star Christian Eriksen, according to The Express. Juve have reportedly joined PSG in trying to sign Eriksen prior to Monday's deadline.

- The Mirror says Real Madrid have also turned their attention to Eriksen after they were unable to prise Neymar from PSG. Madrid have also been linked to Sporting CP captain Bruno Fernandes.

- Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak and Dinamo Zagreb's Dominik Livakovic are potential targets for Manchester United, who are worried David de Gea will leave for free at the end of the season. That is according to The Sun.

- According to the Daily Mirror, Borussia Dortmund are monitoring the situation regarding Liverpool teenager Bobby Duncan. The 18-year-old reportedly had a move to Fiorentina blocked by Liverpool, prompting his agent to accuse the Reds of "bullying", accusations the club called "inaccurate" and "inflammatory".

- Fiorentina are desperate to lure Matteo Politano from Inter, reports Calciomercato. La Viola have offered €30million but Inter want €35m as they reportedly line up Eintracht Frankfurt star Ante Rebic as a possible replacement.

Keylor Navas is poised to swap Madrid for PSG and he might not be only the goalkeeper to move to Paris. Cadena Ser claims Sevilla's Sergio Rico will swap LaLiga for Ligue 1 on loan with the option to buy.

Arsenal suffered another humbling defeat to Liverpool at Anfield last week, but they have every reason to feel confident ahead of the visit of Tottenham on Sunday.

The Gunners have not lost the north London derby at Emirates Stadium since surrendering a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 in November 2010, in Spurs' only away league victory against their fierce rivals in the last 26 attempts.

Spurs were beaten 4-2 in this fixture last season, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring two of his three goals against the 'big six' in England's top flight.

The striker's record might sound in desperate need of improvement, but there are signs Unai Emery is cultivating a new system at Arsenal that could play right into the strengths of their Gabon star.

ARSENAL STARTING DEEP TO SPRING LIGHTNING TRAP

We may be only three games into the season, but there are indications Arsenal are adapting their play to sit deeper and hit with more speed - something that surely suits Aubameyang and record signing Nicolas Pepe.

In the opening matches of 2019-20, no team has attempted more shots from fast-break situations than the Gunners (four), with Aubameyang's goal at Newcastle United coming from just such an attack.

Opta defines a 'fast break' as a fast counter-attack starting from the team's own half, where they turn defence quickly into attack with the ball moving at a high tempo. The opposition defence must also be at least partly unsorted.

The attempt at goal must be made 15 seconds after winning the ball in the first quarter of the pitch, or 10 after winning it in the second quarter.

To help with this apparent proclivity for fast breaks, Emery has had his side dropping back further than usual.

The Gunners have been starting possession spells from much deeper positions on the pitch. Indeed, on average, they have started open-play sequences of possession 35.8 metres from their own goal, which is nearer than any other Premier League team and far deeper than in any of their previous five seasons.

DIRECT AND TO THE POINT

No team has had more direct attacks in 2019-20 than Arsenal (10, at an average of 3.3 per game). A 'direct attack', according to Opta, is an open-play sequence that starts just inside the team's half and has at least 50 per cent of movement towards the opposition penalty area, with that team ending with a shot or a touch in the opponent's box.

Emery's side have not averaged above 2.8 per game in any season since 2014-15, which again points to something of a shift under the former Sevilla boss compared to the more patient approach of Arsene Wenger's teams.

This deeper, counter-attacking brand of football is also yielding fewer turnovers in possession. A 'high turnover' is defined as a sequence that starts in open play and begins 40 metres or fewer away from the opponent's goal. This season, no team has had fewer than Arsenal's five.

The signs for the rest of the campaign are promising, too. At an average of 1.7 per game, the Gunners would be comfortably below their previous high turnovers since 2014-15, when they averaged a league-high 4.8 per match.

There is a problem, however, with their passing.

They have completed 39 per cent of their passes in the opponent's half this season, and 20.1 per cent of passes ending in the final third. Each of those tallies is the lowest they have recorded stretching back to 2003-04.

This seems to be a trend under Emery. Completed passes in the opposite half last term fell by nearly nine per cent from 2017-18, while completed passes ending in the last third dropped by more than five per cent.

PICK YOUR SPOT, PIERRE

Arsenal's overall trend of play bodes well for Aubameyang, who in turn needs to sharpen up against the Premier League's big hitters.

The former Borussia Dortmund star's shot conversion rate against the rest of the Premier League is a healthy 30.1 per cent, dwindling to 9.7 in big-six matches.

His differential in terms of 'big chance' conversion is even more stark – 16.7 per cent down from 48.8.

Aubameyang's expected goals per ninety minutes is 0.59 in big-six encounters, with 0.78 elsewhere, indicating the quality of chances coming his way in such games is lower than normal.

Enough of Arsenal's work over the opening weeks of the season suggests that might be about to change. Starting on Sunday, can Aubameyang make the most of spearheading Emery's flying forwards?

Sporting CP head coach Marcel Keizer is hoping star captain Bruno Fernandes will remain with the club once the transfer window closes.

Fernandes has been linked with a move away throughout the window and the Portugal international revealed he agreed to join Tottenham only for Sporting to block the transfer.

The 24-year-old was also strongly linked to Manchester United, while he has since emerged as a reported target for Real Madrid prior to Monday's deadline.

Keizer was asked about Fernandes' future following Saturday's shock loss to Rio Ave and he told reporters: "We have to wait until Monday.

"Hopefully he will stay. Many things can happen. We are not in a position to be able to decide."

Fernandes – who netted 20 goals and supplied 13 assists in the Primeira Liga last season – scored in the 3-2 defeat to Rio Ave in Lisbon.

Uruguay international and former Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates conceded three penalties and was sent off as Sporting crashed to their first league defeat of the campaign.

Filipe Augusto converted a sixth-minute penalty following Coates' foul before Sporting hit back through Fernandes and Luiz Phellype, who put the hosts ahead eight minutes into the second half.

However, Coates gave away two penalties during the final four minutes and was subsequently sent off for a second yellow card as Rio Ave emerged triumphant.

"I have no opinion, the referee decided and I can do nothing," Keizer said when asked about the three penalties. "I only have an opinion about my team. We didn't play enough. If we had had more ball after 2-1 it could have been different."

Liverpool set a new club record on Saturday, beating Burnley 3-0 to record a 13th consecutive top-flight victory.

Jurgen Klopp's men finished the 2018-19 campaign with nine straight Premier League wins and have taken maximum points from their first four games of this season.

As a result, they have surpassed the 12-game winning run previously achieved under Kenny Dalglish in 1990.

How does Liverpool's ongoing winning streak compare to the record runs of the rest of the Premier League's 'big six'? With the help of Opta, we take a look...

 

Manchester City: 18 wins in a row

Liverpool would need to win each of their next five Premier League matches - against Newcastle United, Chelsea, Sheffield United, Leicester City and bitter rivals Manchester United - to equal the 18-game streak City put together from August to December two years ago.

Pep Guardiola's side needed a 97th-minute strike from Raheem Sterling to beat Bournemouth in the first game of that run, which featured 5-0 wins over Liverpool and Crystal Palace, a 6-0 triumph at Watford and a 7-2 mauling of Stoke City.

It was Palace who eventually brought an end to City's stunning string of wins, earning a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park that could have been even better, with Ederson saving an injury-time penalty from Luka Milivojevic.

City subsequently won 14 matches in a row to pip Liverpool to last season's title and also claimed victory in their first game of 2019-20 before drawing 2-2 with Tottenham in a match they dominated.


Arsenal: 14 wins in a row

Arsenal's 'Invincibles' famously completed an unbeaten Premier League season in 2003-04, but the Gunners' longest winning streak in the competition did not come in that campaign.

Their best run of 14 straight wins was achieved in 2002, when a team spearheaded by Thierry Henry secured a league and FA Cup double.

A 2-0 win over Birmingham City in August saw Arsene Wenger's magnificent side set a new benchmark for consecutive top-flight wins, at least until City's recent dominance.


Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham: 13 wins in a row

In winning 13 successive games, Liverpool have drawn level with the best runs of Chelsea and Tottenham.

The Reds' current streak began against Burnley in March and stretched to 13 matches with Saturday's 3-0 win over the same opponents.

Chelsea recorded 13 wins in a row from October to December in 2016 and went on to be crowned champions the following May.

You have to go way back to 1960 for Tottenham's longest winning runs in the top-flight, which was achieved under Bill Nicholson in another season that ended with the league trophy being lifted.


Manchester United - 12 wins in a row

Somewhat surprisingly given their years of sustained success under Alex Ferguson, United sit bottom of this particular list.

They have never won more than 12 league games in a row, reaching that mark in August 2000 - three months after winning the Premier League yet again.

Indeed, the longest winning runs of United, City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have all come, at least in part, during title-winning campaigns.

After coming so close to glory last term, Liverpool will hope they follow suit next May.

Bruno Fernandes has revealed he agreed to join Tottenham, only for Sporting CP to block the move.

The Portugal international has previously talked up a move to the Premier League and was also strongly linked with a switch to Manchester United.

He scored 20 goals and supplied 13 assists in the Primeira Liga last season and was ready to leave the Lisbon club ahead of the new season.

Sporting president Frederico Varandas warned in July it would cost more than €62million (£56m) to land Fernandes, however, and Tottenham were unable to conclude a deal.

"As you all know, Tottenham made a lot of proposals for me," he told GQ Portugal. "Everything was right with me.

"I never made any big demands, my manager always took care of the financial aspects. 

"It was and is my goal to play in England. Sporting knows everyone knows that and there were indications for things to be done.

"But Sporting understood that the value was not enough and I have to respect the decision."

Christian Eriksen's Tottenham future will be settled one way or another on Saturday, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino.

The influential playmaker has been linked to LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid after saying in June he was open to a new challenge.

Eriksen, 27, has been at Spurs since 2013 and is out of contract at the end of this season, with the transfer deadline in Europe looming on Monday.

Pochettino insists the wheels must be in motion for any move by Saturday, with Spurs facing Arsenal in the North London Derby at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

"The good thing is if nothing happens on Saturday," he told reporters. "Because Sunday's the game and it’s not going to happen on Monday – there'd be no real time to do something.

"On Saturday we are going to know if Christian is going to be with us or not."

Spurs have made an unconvincing start to the season, losing at home to Newcastle United last weekend on the back of a 2-2 draw at Manchester City and a come-from-behind win over newly promoted Aston Villa.

Eriksen's emergence from the bench prompted the turnaround in the Villa match, while the Denmark international has only started against City as speculation over his future continues to swirl.

"People will say: 'Why are you playing Christian?' The team-mates can say: 'Why are you playing Christian if the rumour is he’s going to leave? Gaffer, why am I not playing when Christian is looking to go away?'" Pochettino added.

"In this situation there are plenty of things that happen inside that I cannot translate to the media and our fans.

"The most important is to trust in our judgment. If people have the information to make this decision, it's us."

Mauricio Pochettino has dismissed rumours he will be resigning from his position at Tottenham after Sunday's north London derby clash with Arsenal.

Champions League runners up Spurs have made an indifferent start to the season, with a home loss to Newcastle United last weekend leaving them with four points after three games.

Tottenham did beat Aston Villa in their opening fixture before grabbing a draw at Manchester City, but their early performances have been far from convincing.

Pochettino's side have the chance to kick their campaign into gear when they travel to Emirates Stadium on Sunday, and the former Southampton boss - who is contracted to Tottenham until 2023 - emphatically rejected reports he will be leaving the club, pinning the blame for such speculation on social media.

"What can I say about stupid rumours?" Pochettino told a news conference. "Only social media can create something that stupid.

"After five years now I start my sixth season. You know how we worked this summer to rebuild and update because from each summer, version 2.0, 3.0 - now we're version 6.0 MP software.

"I will not walk away after Sunday's game. I will be working Monday and Tuesday and then going away for a few days and coming back to meet [chairman] Daniel [Levy] and watch some internationals.

"Do you bet? It’s closed now! You lose your money! I hope that I can extend my life here. Sure it’s good for us and good for the club."

However, Pochettino also indicated any decision over his future is not in his own hands.

"I was with Daniel and [assistant boss] Jesus [Perez], we were at dinner in London [on Thursday]," Pochettino added.

"It was very good. We talked about everything. We needed that conversation, very positive. The most important thing is to help the team on the pitch and make sure the communication is clear.

"In the end, it's in the hands of the players and the results, and the last word will be with Daniel."

Turning attention to Sunday's derby, Pochettino was asked which Arsenal player - past or present - he would like to coach.

"Not to coach, but to play against, Paul Merson. To kick him!" Pochettino joked.

Maybe, just maybe, the Neymar transfer saga is coming to an end.

The Brazilian's future has dominated the headlines over recent weeks as Barcelona try to re-sign the wantaway Paris Saint-Germain superstar.

With the September 2 deadline looming, Barca may have struck a deal…

 

TOP STORY – BARCA AND PSG REACH NEYMAR AGREEMENT

According to BBC Sport, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have agreed terms on the value of Neymar.

The two clubs have reportedly settled on a figure of €200million for a player who left Camp Nou in a world-record €222m deal in 2017.

The LaLiga champions are also willing to offer Jean-Clair Todibo, Ivan Rakitic and Ousmane Dembele on a season-long loan, though all three players still have to agree terms.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to Gianluca di Marzio, Atletico Madrid have made an enquiry for Inter outcast Mauro Icardi. However, the race seems to be between Napoli and Monaco, who are both reportedly prepared to pay €65million for the former Inter captain.

- A swap deal involving Keylor Navas and Alphonse Areola is close to completion. RMC says Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Areola has reached an agreement with Real Madrid. Marca, meanwhile, says Navas will sign a three-year deal with PSG.

Parma are confident of signing Manchester United full-back Matteo Darmian, says Alfredo Pedulla. Former Torino defender Darmian has been virtually non-existent at Old Trafford in recent months.

- Radio Marte reporter Dario Sarnataro claims Chelsea have offered Michy Batshuayi to Napoli. The 25-year-old striker has recently spent time on loan at Borussia Dortmund, Valencia and Crystal Palace.

- Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is on the verge of moving to Roma on loan, according to widespread reports in Italy and England.

- Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny is set to join Besiktas on a season-long loan, says Goal.com. The Egypt international only made 17 appearances last season. Il Messaggero, meanwhile, claims the Gunners and Tottenham are both monitoring Roma star Cengiz Under.

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