Mauricio Pochettino has revealed Alvaro Morata turned down Tottenham because he feared playing back-up to Harry Kane.
Morata joined Chelsea from Real Madrid last month for a fee that could rise to £70m, two years after Pochettino attempted to sign the Spain international for Spurs.
Pochettino has now claimed the new Blues recruit, who has been told by Antonio Conte that he needs to improve his physical condition to break into the Chelsea team, rejected his offer over concerns about playing second fiddle to Kane.
“Morata talked about myself, in the media he said ‘Mauricio called me’. That was two years ago or more,” Pochettino said. “He said to me: ‘Why do you want me if you have Harry Kane?’ You know, if you go to try to sign a striker, they will say: ‘Eh gaffer, you want me for what? To be on the bench? I can’t compete with Harry Kane or Hugo Lloris or different players.’
“It’s so difficult to convince good players to come and then be on the bench. Then the problems start.”
The revelation further cranks up the bad blood between Pochettino and Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte ahead of the new season.