Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that Alvaro Morata was reluctant to join the club following a 2015 approach because the Spaniard was worried about playing second fiddle to home-grown superstar Harry Kane.
"Morata talked about myself, in the media he said 'Mauricio called me'. That was two years ago or more," Pochettino is quoted as saying by Sky Sports
"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'."
Kane has scored 75 Premier League goals in the last three seasons and has twice won the prestigious Golden Boot awards as a result.
"It's so difficult to convince good players to come and then be on the bench. Then the problems start," the Argentine coach added.
With Spurs having a settled and successful team, that is perhaps an issue that Pochettino has encountered again this summer. Tottenham are the only Premier League side yet to make a signing since last season, with no obvious avenue into the team for prospective new players.
Recalling his conversations with Premier League clubs in an interview with the Guardian earlier this year, Morata said, "Various Premier League coaches called to tell me to play for them.
"I said yeah, I'd like to, that if I had to leave I would almost certainly go to London, but that I didn't know what Madrid would do [in 2016]. I spoke directly to Mauricio Pochettino and Antonio Conte, although the norm is clubs call my dad or agent."