- Tottenham are going places and sit fourth in the Barclays Premier League
- Club are adamant that Harry Kane will not be sold in the coming months
- New 61,000-seat stadium will join the club's state-of-the-art training ground
- Maybe Spurs now consider themselves serious contenders for trophies
- In recent years they had a history of selling on some of their top players
- Mauricio Pochettino has a skill for nurturing youngsters into Spurs stars
Senior figures at Tottenham Hotspur insist Harry Kane will not be leaving White Hart Lane anytime soon. Certainly not this month and not this coming summer either.
Mauricio Pochettino said as much only the other day. 'There is no price; no one can buy him,' insisted Tottenham's manager.
And while the more discerning observer can present a list of prominent names as evidence that the club always sells at the right price, those insisting privately that Kane is going nowhere also speak with rather more confidence and authority than they might have done in the past.
Tottenham Hotspur are fourth in the Premier League while boasting the top division's youngest side
Senior figures at White Hart Lane insist that star striker Harry Kane will not be leaving any time soon
It is a measure, perhaps, not only of what they perceive to be Kane's enduring commitment to the club he joined as an 11-year-old but of where Tottenham think they are heading at the beginning of 2016.
A club that is going places always stands a better chance of retaining its best players and Tottenham, fourth in the Barclays Premier League but very much in the title race at this halfway stage of the campaign, certainly think they fall into such a category.
A new, ultra-modern 61,000-seat home is due for completion in time for the start of the 2018-19 season, a £40million state-of-the-art training ground has already been built and in Pochettino they reckon they have a manager with the ability to match the club's heightened sense of ambition.
This week one long-serving official described the former Argentina defender as the best he has worked with.
Last month, Pochettino attended a fans' forum alongside the Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, and first-team captain Hugo Lloris.
The meeting was held at the Tottenham University Technical College that shares a smart new building with the football club's main offices and one of the largest super- markets in Europe, in itself an indication of the progress being made in their particular corner of north London.
In Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham have a manager with the ability to match their heightened ambitions
But supporters still grieving the loss of players like Gareth Bale and Luka Modric, not to mention Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov, remained nervous enough to seek certain assurances from Levy. They wanted him to tell them that individuals of the quality of Kane and Dele Alli would not be sold as well.
'If the football side say it affects equilibrium of the squad if we have a player who doesn't want to be here, then we look at it,' Levy said. 'In the end, it's up to Mauricio to decide who he does or doesn't want.'
Levy, of course, has something of a reputation for selling players anyway but it is a reputation he is said to consider rather unfair.
His allies would say Berbatov was sold to Manchester United because it was agreed that, having had his head turned by the lure of playing for Sir Alex Ferguson, it was better for everyone that he was allowed to go. Ditto Carrick.
Daniel Levy has a reputation for selling players but he considers that labelling to be unfair
Gareth Bale was sold to Real Madrid in 2013 after he won the PFA Player of the Year award with Tottenham
But they would also argue that Levy agreed not to sell Modric to Chelsea when Harry Redknapp requested that the Croat remain at the club for one more year. Only then was he allowed to move to Real Madrid.
Those same allies insist the sale of Bale to Madrid occurred only because Andre Villas-Boas concluded that it was best that he go, apparently during a pre-season tour to the Far East when it became clear to the then Spurs manager that the distraction of a big-money transfer was beginning to impact on that all-important equilibrium.
'The first person who wants to help me improve the squad is Daniel,' Pochettino told the same set of fans at that recent forum, and if that really is the case then maybe there has been a shift in the overall mindset at White Hart Lane.
Maybe they do now consider themselves serious contenders rather than a second-tier club that expects to lose its best players to the continental elite.
Fans are seeking assurances that the likes of rising midfield star Dele Alli are not sold by Tottenham
Spurs refused Chelsea's advances for playmaker Luka Modric but sold him to Real Madrid a year later
As they prepare for Sunday's visit to Everton, there does seem to be a degree of excitement around the club and much of it emanates from those stadium plans and a 43-year-old manager who commands so much respect from his colleagues.
In at 7am every day and among the last to leave, he is admired for his work ethic as much as he is the interest he shows in all areas of the club. Pochettino will regularly take time out to watch the junior sides and enjoys a close working relationship with the club's academy manager, John McDermott.
A relationship between Pochettino and Levy has also developed since it was decided that Franco Baldini would vacate his position as the club's sporting director.
Pochettino, Levy stressed in that same forum, now has the final say on transfers and when the club were unable to recruit some of their principal targets in the summer, Southampton's Victor Wanyama and James McCarthy of Everton among them, the manager responded by telling his chairman not to panic because he could see an alternative in Eric Dier for that defensive midfield role.
Pochettino enjoys a close working relationship with the club's academy manager, John McDermott
Today, only Leicester City can match Spurs in suffering just two Premier League defeats from 19 games so far this season.
Tim Sherwood might have begun the process of blooding some of Tottenham's younger players but there can be no denying Pochettino has a certain skill for nurturing talent. Ryan Mason is another fine example.
Lloris is Pochettino's captain and their professional relationship has also grown in importance at the club. Pochettino values the opinion of the France goalkeeper to such an extent that they meet regularly in the manager's office, seemingly developing the kind of understanding Ferguson once enjoyed with Roy Keane.
At the same time, Pochettino recognises the value of the players brought through by McDermott's academy. Something of a dour Yorkshireman, McDermott hates any form of publicity.
Eric Dier (left) provided to be a great alternative in defensive midfield after Tottenham missed transfer targets
But under his guidance a coaching staff that once included Chris Ramsey and Alex Inglethorpe — now the academy director at Liverpool — has provided the current Spurs dressing room with a core of homegrown players further enhanced by what insiders say is a 'lack of egos' thanks to the departure of certain individuals.
'The most important thing is the balance of the team and our power is our changing room,' said Pochettino on Thursday.
He believes in signing 'not just good players but good people', which would suggest he might well agree with Redknapp's view that West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino is not a risk worth taking. Pochettino prefers players like Kane, and not just because he ends the calendar year having scored 27 goals. He is committed to the club and at 22 is already considered mature enough to be the vice- captain. Indeed, he was singled out as a future Spurs captain by officials some years ago.
Pochettino may side with Harry Redknapp's view that West Brom striker Saido Berahino is too much of a risk
'With the balance we have, we need to be careful who we bring in,' Pochettino said recently and there is no doubt Spurs have struck an impressive balance between defensive solidity and attacking flair, as well as a doggedness they most definitely displayed in Monday's late 2-1 victory at Watford.
Of course, to sustain success on the field a club needs to be built on solid financial foundations and Levy is said to be confident that the new stadium will provide that in the long term.
The new ground is designed to maximise potential revenue with a retractable pitch that covers an artificial surface suitable for NFL games and live entertainment events, and the club hope Tottenham — complete with new housing, a hotel and a cinema — will become London's 'next destination'.
Pochettino: It's a pleasure to work with 'brilliant' Harry Kane