Mauricio Pochettino has slammed the door on a potential Pau Lopez move from Tottenham Hotspur in January, even though the Spaniard is yet to play since his summer arrival from Espanyol. Spanish publication Diario Sport reports several La Liga sides have approached Spurs to lure the keeper back to his homeland, but the Argentine boss has immediately ruled out that possibility.
The 21-year-old goalkeeper moved to White Hart Larne on deadline day after Tottenham agreed to pay Espanyol €600,000 (£510,000, $642,000) for his services on loan during the 2016-17 season, with an option to make the move permanent for €7m at the end of the campaign. However, Sport claims Spurs would also need to pay an extra €500,000 in compensation if they decide against exercising that option.
The move looked raised eyebrows at the time as Pochettino already had the position covered by Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm.
However, Pochettino and goalkeeping coach Toni Jimenez were both keen on the gamble after promoting Lopez to Espanyol's first team during their time in La Liga.
Lopez gained a reputation as one of Spain's most promising young goalkeepers and was included in Vicente Del Bosque's expanded squad for Euro 2016, alongside 10 other youngsters.
But the Spaniard has been resolutely stuck as third choice since moving to Spurs, behind Lloris and Vorm.
Sport claims that some La Liga side have approached Tottenham to lure the player back to Spain during the January transfer window, offering him regular playing time.
But Pochettino has told potential suitors to forget about Lopez as he still has faith in his future at Tottenham, hoping he will become the long-term number one at Spurs. Lloris is already 29.
Sport adds that Pochettino wants to keep monitoring Lopez's development at White Hart Lane before making a final decision on his future in the summer. The keeper is also happy with the situation as he knew he was going to be third choice when he agreed to join Tottenham in the summer.