West Ham United attacker Michail Antonio has revealed he had to turn down Tottenham Hotspur because of his mother. The 25-year-old signed for West Ham in 2015 from Nottingham Forest for £7m, but could instead be lining up alongside Harry Kane in Mauricio Pochettino’s team.

Speaking to FourFourTwo, Antonio said he could be playing at White Hart Lane rather than the London Stadium after Tottenham tried to sign him when he was a youngster. The winger revealed he was delighted a club like Tottenham would be interested in him, but his mother wasn’t too sure about him signing for them.

At the time Antonio was taking his school exams so there was concern frequent trips to North London would be a distraction. The West Ham player said in the end his mother decided he couldn’t travel to train with Tottenham and would have to find a club nearer to where they lived.

“I remember going home buzzing and then telling my mum Spurs wanted to sign me. But I was doing my SATS at the time and she wanted me to focus on my education. I would’ve trained two to three times a week in North London, getting home at Midnight. She said it was too far and that I could only sign for a South London club,” said the West Ham star on nearly signing for Tottenham.

Antonio has been a revelation since he signed for the Hammers last year and impressed early on in the season. His performances earned him a call up to the England squad, but his form has dropped in recent weeks with West Ham continuing to struggle.