If The Daily Mail are to be believed, Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino (god, that feels good to type) is interested in signing Argentina international midfielder Ever Banega. The Mail thinks he could be available for as little as £5.5m.
Even though Banega participated quite a bit in Argentina's qualifying campaign, he was one of the final cuts from their World Cup squad, so he'd be able to join up with the team and start training ahead of the players who are at the World Cup.
For those who are unfamiliar with Banega, he's a deep-lying playmaker who has also played further up the pitch on occasion. He's one of the best passers of the ball in the world and he's not terrible defensively, though he does need to be partnered with a better defensive player.
So why is such a good player available so cheap? Mostly because of off-the-pitch issues and fitness concerns. Banega's picked up quite a few injuries in recent years -- some of them self-inflicted -- and he has a reputation for enjoying the party scene a bit too much. I have no idea whether or not the rumors about indulgence in too much off-the-pitch fun are true, but Valencia certainly think he's trouble if they're willing to just take any decent fee for him.
Banega's a gamble, but at £5.5m, he's probably a gamble worth taking. Thoughts?