Sherwood plays down Konoplyanka link

Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood has played down speculation linking Yevhen Konoplyanka with a move to the club.

The Ukrainian has long been linked with the Premier League, with a move to Liverpool in the January transfer window failing to materialise.

Konoplyanka scored a late penalty in Dnipro's 1-0 first-leg win over Sherwood's side in the UEFA Europa League last 32 earlier this season, though Tottenham went on to win the tie 3-2 on aggregate,

And Dnipro chairman Igor Kolomoyskyi revealed this week he had been in discussions with White Hart Lane opposite number Daniel Levy regarding Konoplyanka, and claimed Tottenham lead the race for the impressive attacker's signature

But ahead of Spurs' Europa League last-16 second-leg clash with Benfica on Thursday, which they enter 3-1 down, Sherwood played down any links between the two parties.

"Konoplyanka is certainly one who's being talked about, but nothing definitive," he said.

Sherwood also insisted that he was already planning for next season, and that he and the club would take great care in their recruitment policy over the off-season.

"I think we have to make sure we see a lot more of these guys before they come in, not just the highlights, because we've got to make sure we do our recruitment job on them," he added.

"I will sign the players, absolutely. Nobody else will come in here unless I sanction it. You can't work any other way.

"The manager has got to work with the players, so unless he gets the players he wants it's always going to be an uphill task. He will always have the excuse of, 'well, they're not my players'.

"Someone else has made those decisions in the past and I've not been privy to it. I know the type of players I want to improve the group and take it forward next season.

"It's out of my hands but I believe I'll be here next year. I'm planning for next season. The players are playing for their futures."