Mauricio Pochettino insists that chairman Daniel Levy has never attempted to impose an age restriction on incoming transfers at Tottenham Hotspur, praising experienced summer signing Fernando Llorente as the "perfect" competition for prolific teammate Harry Kane.
Spurs' failure to properly back-up their reigning Premier League Golden Boot winner had become something of an achilles heel and was particularly magnified during his injury absences last term, with Dutch international Vincent Janssen - now on loan at Fenerbahce - unable to establish himself as a suitable like-for-like replacement following his £17m ($22.6m) switch from AZ Alkmaar in July 2016.
It looked as if another transfer window would pass by without such a problem being solved, until Tottenham impressively swooped on deadline day to pip rivals Chelsea to the signing of Llorente from Swansea City in a deal reported to be worth approximately £12.1m.
Aged 32, the 2010 World Cup winner - a full nine years older than Janssen and seven older than any other player recruited by Spurs this summer - possessed something of a different profile from the club's usual signings over recent seasons, although Pochettino insists there have never been any rules put in place in that regard during his three-and-a-half year stint at the helm.
"Never from the beginning here has Daniel Levy said to me 'we cannot sign players who are over 25'," the Argentine told reporters at a press conference held before Wednesday night's (26 October) Carabao Cup fourth round London derby against West Ham United, per The Independent.
"Never. I promise you he's never said that. All we do is try to find a profile that will fit what we need for the club but he has never said to me 'that is the limit of the age', we can or we cannot."
Llorente has made an encouraging start to life at Tottenham despite having yet to open his account for the title contenders, filling in dutifully off the bench in the Premier League and starting in English football's secondary cup competition. He was surprisingly selected to partner Kane during the recent Champions League clash against Real Madrid inside the cauldron of the Santiago Bernabeu, proving that Spurs possess plenty of tactical flexibility under Pochettino.
The Argentine has spoken before of the difficulty involved in attracting a forward of sufficient calibre who would be happy to largely play second fiddle to Ballon d'Or nominee Kane and evidently believes Tottenham have now found the ideal solution.
"It is important to analyse one thing: when you look at Harry Kane in the last few years, it is not easy to find the profile who can compete with him," he added. "It is not easy in the market to find a player who wants to come and do that, as everyone recognises him as one of the best strikers in the world and for a club like us it is not easy to find.
"That is why Llorente is perfect, and fits very well for us in our project."