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Pochettino confirms Tottenham interest in Ligue 1 striker and defender

These are still very much unhatched and uncounted chickens, but it's still encouraging news.

Olympique de Marseille v Juventus FC - Preseason Friendly Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

The thing about Tottenham Hotspur transfer rumors in the age of Mauricio Pochettino is that the Argentine manager rarely tips his hand. Oh sure, Spurs will be linked to all kinds of players in this offseason, but much of that is based on third party accounts, rumors, supposition, or just plain made-up crap. Poche, by contrast, almost never actually says "Yes, this is a guy whom we're interested in" until it's already pretty darned clear that he Spurs really are interested in him.

So it's pretty telling when Spurs' manager actually comes out with quotes about a specific player over a month before the window actually opens. But that's what's happened here. Pochettino, speaking to a French radio station, showed a few of the cards in his hand and indicated that, yes, Spurs really and truly are interested in Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi.

But what did he actually say?

"We are looking for a striker this summer, that's clear. Michy's a young player who has a lot of talent. He is on the list of many clubs.

"We have quite a few people who have given us information about him. He has good potential. We'll see.

"We have other players in our sights too."

OK, so he didn't actually say THAT much. Even so, that's a direct quote about an actual player, which is significantly more than what we usually get from Pochettino. And it does confirm that Batshuayi is, in fact, really on Spurs' radar as they look for competition-slash-backup to Harry Kane this summer. Michy has crazy potential, is young (just 22), and is likely to move this summer despite signing a contract with Marseille through 2020 just eight months ago. OM is unlikely to make Champions League, so the Belgian should have no shortage of suitors from now until the close of the transfer window.

In the same interview, Pochettino also dropped a hint about Lyon defender Samuel Umtiti, another potential target for Spurs this summer as they beef up their team for a presumptive Champions League campaign.

"Umtiti is one of the players that our recruitment department is following. He has interesting potential."

We've already talked about both Batshuayi and Umtiti, and have advised Spurs fans to slow their roll on these rumors. Nothing's really changed in that regard yet. The window hasn't even opened, Spurs (still) haven't (quite) clinched Champions League for next season. It's way, WAY too early to start counting chickens.

That said, it is kind of nice to know that Spurs at least HAVE chickens to count, or are at least looking at some chickens in the farmer's market, if I can torture this metaphor even further. Don't start getting excited about potential signings quite yet, but this is an encouraging sign that both Pochettino and his Black Box toting recruitment team are planning for the future.