Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says his side are unable to compete in the transfer market with Manchester City and Manchester United. The north west pair were among the biggest spenders in the summer transfer window with a combined outlay of £366m (€410m) on a host of players including Romelu Lukaku, Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy.
Unsurprisingly that spending has translated into a fine start to the season for both, with the pair unbeaten after seven games and level on points at the summit of the Premier League table. Spurs are third, already five points behind, after being able to spend just £82m on new players.
Such were the problems Tottenham encountered in the summer they were forced to wait until the final two weeks of the window to conduct any business. Five arrived in all, including two on deadline day in the form of full-back Serge Aurier and striker Fernando Llorente.
Ahead of Tottenham's move into their new £800m stadium the purse strings are set to be tightened further, a plight that could see City and United pull away further.
"The difference these days between clubs in the Premier League is that there are clubs, like City and United, who sign who they want and when they want," the Argentine manager told beIN Sports. "Then there are big teams, like us, who sign when we can and who we can. It's the big difference today."
After facing Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday (14 October) attention turns back to the Champions League and a trip to holders Real Madrid. The game represents the biggest test yet for Pochettino's rapidly improving side against a team he believes are currently the best on the planet.
"Madrid have been the best team in the world in the last few years," the Tottenham boss added. "They've proved that and, honestly, I have a certain weakness for Zinedine Zidane, as a footballer and now. Of course, we'll try to use our weapons to play a good game and to win, because we're going there to win."