Premier League

Pochettino admits interest in trio

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Thu, 04 Jul 2013 18:27:00

Cameroon have been provisionally suspended from international competition by FIFA due to government interference in their football federation.

The decision is part of the fall-out from the re-election last month of Mohammed Iya as the president of the Cameroonian Football Association (FECAFOOT).

The longstanding FECAFOOT leader is being investigated for alleged mismanagement while in charge of a state-owned cotton company.

And the FIFA decision might prevent Cameroon from playing a vital World Cup qualifier against Libya on 6 September and could lead to them being expelled from the qualification process for next year's tournament in Brazil.

A FIFA statement read: "The FIFA emergency committee has decided to provisionally suspend the Cameroonian Football Association with immediate effect on account of government interference.

"The FIFA Statutes oblige member associations to manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.

"During the period of suspension, FECAFOOT may not be represented in any regional, continental or international competitions, including at club level, or in friendly matches."

FIFA says it will create an emergency panel to run FECAFOOT and hold elections by March 31.

It says the suspension will be lifted "once the country authorities allow the new normalisation committee to enter the FECAFOOT headquarters and to carry out its activities unhindered".

Cameroon were told of the suspension just minutes after they had been awarded three World Cup qualifying points for an unrelated matter.

Togo were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player in a World Cup qualifier against them and Cameroon, who had lost the game 2-0, were awarded a 3-0 win, which took them to the top of the table with one match to play.

Saints are preparing for their second season in the top flight and have ambitious plans for the future.

Dejan Lovren joined for £8.5million from Lyon last month, and there is clearly still money in the bank for signings at St Mary's.

Pochettino on Thursday confirmed he remains interested in Celtic midfielder Wanyama, Internacional forward Damiao and Valencia midfielder Banega.

"We manage a lot of information about very good players," the Saints boss said. "One of them is Damiao, also Banega and also Wanyama.

"We are managing the situation as well as we can at the moment.

"The main thing is that we as a club, Southampton, are managing when these negotiations happen so that is what is happening.

"We are managing when these players are going to be signed and how we sign them.

"Our goals are very clear. I am also not trapped by the fact that I said I wanted to have our transfer window closed by July 1.

"We are not interested in 15 or 20 players. We are interested in maybe two or three key players.

"At the same time, I also want to say our squad at the moment is really good and it is not like we are trapped in the sense that we need these players to be a better squad.

"Our squad as it is really good already, but we just want to bring in two or three players that reinforce key areas in the squad to become an even better team."

Internacional forward Damiao has been a reported long-time target of Tottenham and his agent confirmed there are talks involving an unnamed club.

Pochettino knows Banega well from his time managing in Spain with Espanyol, although it appears his arrival would depend on a move for Wanyama.

The Celtic midfielder, subject of a reported £12million bid from Saints which was accepted by the Scottish champions, reportedly failed to agree terms on a move to the south coast due to issues with his representatives.

Pochettino, however, insists the deal is not dead.

"It could happen," he said. "We have certain positions that we want to reinforce. I'm confident that our goals will be met."

Pochettino also confirmed that a number of squad players will be leaving the club this summer.

Billy Sharp, Dean Hammond and Tadanari Lee are among those players, as are Lee Barnard, Richard Chaplow and Steve de Ridder.

Other squad players also look set to be on their way out as the Argentinian plans for the future.

"They are a group of players that, because of different reasons, we are not counting on in the future," Pochettino said.

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