Christian Eriksen’s Tottenham future will be settled one way or another on Saturday, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino.

The influential playmaker has been linked to LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid after saying in June he was open to a new challenge.

Eriksen, 27, has been at Spurs since 2013 and is out of contract at the end of this season, with the transfer deadline in Europe looming on Monday.

Pochettino insists the wheels must be in motion for any move by Saturday, with Spurs facing Arsenal in the North London Derby at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

“The good thing is if nothing happens on Saturday,” he told reporters. “Because Sunday’s the game and it’s not going to happen on Monday – there’d be no real time to do something.

“On Saturday we are going to know if Christian is going to be with us or not.”

Spurs have made an unconvincing start to the season, losing at home to Newcastle United last weekend on the back of a 2-2 draw at Manchester City and a come-from-behind win over newly promoted Aston Villa.

Eriksen’s emergence from the bench prompted the turnaround in the Villa match, while the Denmark international has only started against City as speculation over his future continues to swirl.

“People will say: ‘Why are you playing Christian?’ The team-mates can say: ‘Why are you playing Christian if the rumour is he’s going to leave? Gaffer, why am I not playing when Christian is looking to go away?'” Pochettino added.

“In this situation there are plenty of things that happen inside that I cannot translate to the media and our fans.

“The most important is to trust in our judgment. If people have the information to make this decision, it’s us.”