Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has strongly hinted that his side are set to carry out their transfer business early this summer in a change to their usual routine of making signings late in the window.
The north London side believe they can get some bargains if they can bring in players before the 2018 World Cup in Russia gets underway on 14th June.
Now chief scout Steve Hitchen is working on providing chairman Daniel Levy with a list of names as Spurs look to bring in fresh talent in order to keep pace with title winners Manchester City next season.
Tottenham vs Manchester City – player ratings
“We are working with Steve,” said Pochettino. “The World Cup only can confirm your idea about a player. It is so dangerous to go and scout players in the World Cup because if a player is good, how after are you going to sign him?
“Sometimes you need to anticipate and say ‘OK this player can be good for us’ and then he goes to the World Cup. But you need to sign before the tournament starts because he is doing well and then you will have a lot of competition if they are good.
“We are thinking and trying to anticipate because it will be difficult if not at the World Cup.”
Tottenham may be all but guaranteed fourth place ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to Brighton and Hove Albion but it has been a season where they have not always lived up to Pochettino’s high standards.
Now the Argentine wants them to learn from their mistakes early on in their time at Wembley Stadium by enjoying a successful start to life at the new White Hart Lane although he does have concerns with the first few away fixtures of 2018-19 expected to be away from home due to the delay in building work.
The biggest problem is reducing the gap to City, a side who beat them easily at Wembley 3-1 on Saturday night on their way to securing the title a day later.
“Of course it is difficult to compete with City,” Pochettino said. “It is not easy. It’s not all about money in football, that is true. But it helps, it helps a lot. It’s not that if you’re a billionaire you’re going to be happy, but sure that helps a lot. In football it’s the same.
“Sometimes there are many questions about how we reduce the gap and how we compete better or reach the level of Manchester City. It is impossible to answer that. But it is not impossible [to win the title next season]. We need to start better than this season.
“If you remember how we started the season it was not the right way to the start the season. I don’t need to tell you. It’s not the right way for the club to start if you want to win big things as you will miss a few months. When you miss a few months in this competitive league it is so difficult to reduce the gap.
“Last season we had many problems, not only with these problems but with the Wembley hoodoo. Next season we have a beautiful new stadium and need to make home again. Maybe we need to play four games away from home and that is the stress we may add to the team, staff.
“It is not easy to focus [solely] on improving the squad. City is focusing on the next three players to add, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool the same. We are focusing on different areas, it is not easy to achieve what we want.”