Roberto Soldado
Roberto Soldado may still leave North London this summerReuters

Mauricio Pochettino has addressed the potential departure of mega-money flop Roberto Soldado, while admitting that Spurs are a step behind Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal when it comes to transfer deals.

Soldado has been heavily linked with a return to La Liga in recent months, having failed to make the impact hoped at White Hart Lane since his £26m ($40m) arrival from Valencia in the summer of 2013.

Villarreal boss Marcelino Garcia Toral recently told IBTimes UK he wanted to bring the Spaniard back home, while the Daily Mirror later reported that Spurs could be willing to accept an offer as low as £11m.

Pochettino recently claimed he wanted Soldado to stay at the club, but asked the same question during an interview with Spanish radio stadion Onda Cero, he said: "This is the reality of football."

"Clearly Soldado did not have many chances to play last season due to the emergence of Harry Kane. He played several games but a player always wants to play more. And when he sees that someone like Kane is ahead of him he tries to find another way to feel better," the manager admitted.

"I still have him in my plans. Tottenham still have him in their plans. But we always know that when a club appears, and if a player wants to leave, and if the club agrees him to leave... But today he is with up and he is in my plans. In football it is clear that a lot can happen."

The Argentinian boss, meanwhile, appeared to concede that the club target for this season is not to qualify for the Champions League but to build for the future.

Pochettino has bolstered his defence during the current transfer window with the additions of Toby Alderweireld, Kevin Wimmer and Kieran Trippier, but after failing to make any major attacking additions he says they cannot compete with the Premier League's big boys.

"You just have to look to the investments made by Liverpool, Manchester City, [Manchester] United, Chelsea or Arsenal during this summer," he said.

"We have five teams above us when it comes to spending. We finished fifth last season but our project is different to their project. We have young boys, mainly English people and what we are trying is to create a team for the future, to set the base of the following years."