Mauricio Pochettino
The Manchester clubs can "sign whoever they want" while Spurs must remain realistic. Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur cannot be expected to compete with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea in the transfer market, insists manager Mauricio Pochettino.

After a slow start to their summer transfer window, Spurs leapt into action in August, adding Davinson Sanchez, Paulo Gazzaniga, Juan Foythe, Serge Aurier and Fernando Llorente to their squad for an outlay reportedly close to £90m.

While it was the most the club have spent since that infamous summer of 2013 when they were flush with cash following Gareth Bale's move to Real Madrid, it isn't close to the amount spent by the two clubs currently leading the Premier League, having also profited from the sales of Kyle Walker to Manchester City and Kevin Wimmer to Stoke City, among others.

Walker's move to the Etihad Stadium was part of a £220m spending spree, while neighbours United came close to breaking the £150m barrier with the arrivals of Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic.

Tottenham have had to find a balance between their ambition and the ongoing development on their new 61,000-seater stadium, with the new project is now estimated to cost the club £800m.

And Pochettino insists the club have little choice but to conduct themselves differently in the transfer market compared to their rivals.

"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," he told beIN Sports, Goal report.

"Then there are big teams, like us, who sign when we can and who we can. It's the big difference today."

Tottenham sit five points adrift of both Manchester clubs, who are tied at the summit of the Premier League on 19 points after seven games.