Tottenham Hotspur might be making their first significant transfer push of the summer. According to Gary Jacob in The Times (paywalled), Spurs are looking to sign Real Sociedad winger / wide forward Antoine Griezmann. The 23-year-old was tipped by many as a possible breakout star at this World Cup, but despite some good performances Griezmann never quite made his mark on the tournament. He's coming off another excellent season in La Liga, in which he scored 16 goals and assisted three. Griezmann's 0.64 goals + assists per 90 minutes and 0.51 xG + xA per 90 compare well to the scoring contribution stats of stars like Cesc Fabregas, Ivan Rakitic and Carlos Vela.
If Fabregas and Rakitic went to Chelsea and Barcelona for big money, and Vela was pursed by Arsenal, why should we have any hope Spurs can land Griezmann?
I figure it is a long shot, but if I squint hard enough I can see the case for optimism.
First, Griezmann has a reported £24m release clause. This release clause is even listed on Griezmann's wikipedia page, and The Times confirms. So his transfer price is set at a distinctly reasonable level.
Second, obviously we have to assume Griezmann would snub Spurs for a Champions League club. But how many of them are left with money and roster spots? Liverpool have gone for Lazar Markovic and Adam Lallana. Arsenal for Alexis Sanchez. Chelsea bought all the wingers last year. Barcelona and Real Madrid have spent elsewhere. No one in Italy appears to have any money. Bayern could go for Griezmann, but their shopping list is always peculiar. Manchester United and Manchester City are possible, but it's a relatively short set of big club names here.
If a Champions League club moves for Griezmann, they would probably secure his signing. But the report from The Times suggests that Spurs think there might be an opening here. It's not completely crazy. And obviously Griezmann would be a fantastic signing.
Good hair, too.