Because speculating on this stuff is whole boatloads of fun: The internet is abound with rumors that Tottenham Hotspur are looking into the purchase of FC Barcelona's Ibrahim Afellay. You know, despite the fact that he just joined Barcelona six months ago. And he was actually given quite a bit of playing time for a January signing who had to learn the new system. While Pedro and Lionel Messi were both healthy. Yeah, that Ibrahim Afellay.
Of course, those facts alone should tell you that this rumor is complete and utter bunk, but just in case Barcelona really are willing to sell Afellay for a reasonable price and Spurs really are after him, let's take a minute to talk about what he could potentially bring to the table if he departed Barca for White Hart Lane.
Afellay can play anywhere across the three attacking midfield positions that we play in our normal setup - left wing, right wing, or in the hole. He could come in as a universal three-position backup, but it's more likely that if we bought Afellay, he would be able to compete with (and probably beat) Aaron Lennon for the starting right wing job.
One thing interest in Afellay does NOT indicate is that we are budging on Luka Modric and lining up a big money sale. Afellay is not a Modric replacement by any stretch of the imagination.
I've seen figures that range anywhere from £4m (a £1m profit for Barca) to £10m (what PSV could have sold him for a year earlier before he was going to walk on a free). All of the rumors floating around say that an Afellay sale would be to fund a move for Cesc Fabregas, but a £4m sale doesn't help them much, and honestly, a £10m sale doesn't put that big of a dent in Fabregas's potential fee either.
While I'd like to see Afellay in a Spurs shirt, I'd only like to see it happen under a couple of conditions. One, that we have enough money in the budget for Afellay AND a striker who's going to run us around £20m. I do not want to buy Afellay in lieu of a striker. Two, that Barcelona are actually willing to sell him for less than £10m. Less than that, he's a bargain for us and totally worth the money.
This is probably all nonsense, as I'm 99% sure Afellay will be a Barcelona player when La Liga kicks off, but as far as transfer rumors go, I've heard dumber.