Tottenham plan to appoint new head of recruitment - Mauricio Pochettino
LONDON -- Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham Hotspur plan to appoint a replacement for outgoing head of recruitment Paul Mitchell.
Mitchell, 34, resigned from his post in August but he is still serving notice at the club, and due to leave in the New Year. He is part of a five-man transfer committee at Tottenham, also including Pochettino, chairman Daniel Levy, chief scout Ian Broomfield and former manager David Pleat.
Pochettino, whose job title was changed from head coach to manager in May and now has more say in recruitment than before, says the club plans to replace Mitchell, who was recruited from Southampton in November 2014.
"Paul Mitchell is still working for us, but it's a normal process to find another person who can cope with his job in the future. It is true here at Tottenham, we need to replace him. The club believes that, not only me," Pochettino told a news conference.
Mitchell is not expected to be involved in Tottenham's business in the January transfer window but Pochettino said the club was unlikely to make any signings, insisting that Spurs have already shown ambition by tying 10 senior players -- including Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen -- to long-term contracts this season.
"In January it's always difficult to find the right profile to help you. Always when you bring players from outside always there is not too much time for that player to settle in your club and your philosophy, for many reasons," he said.
"It will be difficult to find the profile that can help us but the club is doing a very good job to extend contracts of key players. That is how we can show our real ambition and how the players show their commitment with us. That's a bigger statement for the club, to show our ambition for the future."
Spurs play Manchester United on Sunday and they can move nine points clear of them with a win at Old Trafford.
In the past, United poached important players from Tottenham, notably Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov, but Pochettino says Spurs are now closer to United, on and off the pitch.
"We are doing a big effort to try to reduce on the pitch that gap," he said. "It's true too our chairman, our board [are] trying to work hard to reduce the gap by building a new stadium, new facilities like here [the training ground, Hotspur Way] in the next few years.
"Tottenham is showing their ambition to be a team or club, to be one of the biggest in Europe and in England. The job we are doing in and out of the pitch is unbelievable. We need to recognise that work."
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.