Mauricio Pochettino has warned that Tottenham Hotspur "need to be clever" to convince Harry Kane to snub the overtures of big European clubs and stay at north London for his entire career.

On Saturday [6 January] Liverpool agreed to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in a £142million deal after the Brazilian initially tried to force his move to the Nou Camp during the summer transfer window.

Tottenham have found themselves in similar situations before with Gareth Bale and Luca Modric opting to leave Spurs to continue their careers at Real Madrid.

Pochettino hopes Kane won't follow in their footsteps but warned that Spurs must take care of their star to ensure the coveted striker stays a one-club man.

"Harry is so special. Because he loves Tottenham and he has always been at Tottenham. But we need to be clever how we manage him. The player needs to choose to stay here, you cannot force the player to stay here," Pochettino said in a press conference after Kane scored two goals during Spurs' 3-0 victory over Wimbledon in the third round of the FA Cup.

"Our job is to try to work together and try to achieve everything we want at the club and of course Harry is such a special player. I told him only a few special players like [Francesco] Totti can spend all their career in one club.

"I think Harry is this type of a player who can stay all his career at Tottenham because he loves Tottenham. But in football you cannot be sure. It is today, the present, tomorrow, after tomorrow you need to doubt. That is why it is so important to work together and try to achieve all that you want.

"And of course this present at Tottenham, this future at Tottenham, this project is so exciting and I hope, we hope, that all together we spend a lot of time here and try to win trophies and achieve what we want."

Kane has indeed been linked with a big-money move to Real Madrid in recent times with the Champions League winners on the hunt for a new number nine to replace Karim Benzema ahead of the summer transfer window.

Real are likely to step up the pursuit of a marquee star at the end of the season after Barcelona secured the services of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool only months after signing Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund.

Pochettino suggests that the Coutinho's move to Barcelona proves once again that Premier League clubs are powerless to stop their best players leaving when a team like Barcelona or Real come knocking.

"I think it is a massive example or massive point to show how this business is. How difficult it is for the clubs to keep their best players," Pochettino added.

"Liverpool is one of the best clubs in the world and it looks when Coutinho, or a player like Coutinho, wants to leave, how difficult it is to keep your best player.

"But that is [the situation] today with Coutinho, who I think Liverpool wanted to keep but was difficult to keep. And look what happened with Cristiano Ronaldo at Man United and Zidane at Juventus, Figo in Barcelona. It is a lot of examples that it is so, so tough to keep your best player if the player says he wants to leave.

"That is why it is so important how you care for your players. It is why you need to anticipate things. It is so important to work with the human side and then to provide the player, the club and the team an exciting moment, and try and build a project that they feel comfortable with and they are happy to be with you.

"Today, when a player decides to leave, look what happens. If another club pays the type of money they pay - like Barcelona with Liverpool - how do you stop it?"

Harry Kane
Harry Kane scored two goals during Spurs' 3-0 win over Wimbledon.