Tottenham Hotspur are approaching the midway point of the season, and that means transfer rumors start popping up again, including the ones that refused to die back in the summer. January is less chaotic, simply because it's mid-season and there are very few blockbuster moves. Spurs generally don't conduct too much business mid-season, but there are some holes that probably need filling as well as a couple of players that probably won't be at White Hart Lane when the window closes.
Lyall Thomas of Sky Sports took to Twitter to acknowledge some of the moves that Tottenham might be making, so let's start with the obvious:
Yes. Dier has been a revelation and long-term future seen in midfield. https://t.co/Gwgh8Uk0sk— Lyall Thomas (@SkySportsLyall) December 18, 2015
Thomas was responding to a question as to whether or not Spurs see Eric Dier as the long-term option in the midfield, so this is not a surprise. He's been incredible and has helped make Tottenham's defense one of the best in the league along with the signing of Toby Alderweireld. Would some midfield depth help? Yes, but there's no mention of signing another defensive midfielder.
Moving on, Thomas was asked if there was still interest in Berahino:
All parties interested in summer remain interested, but whether Jeremy Peace has changed his stance another matter. https://t.co/vJsBWYbarF— Lyall Thomas (@SkySportsLyall) December 18, 2015
The end of the Berahino saga in the summer was basically summed up as everyone wanted the move to happen except for Jeremy Peace, who took offense to the way Daniel Levy wanted to make the payments to West Bromwich Albion. Thomas seems to believe that there will be a rekindling of this possible transfer, but if Peace comes out and says that Berahino isn't for sale, then the deal is dead.
In regards to players on their way out of White Hart Lane, the names will not surprise you as Thomas was bluntly asked about general transfer movement:
Quiet one. Outs first (Townsend, Fazio). Then possibly striker & new centre-half but only if right long-term targets https://t.co/8dEMCvQVCj— Lyall Thomas (@SkySportsLyall) December 18, 2015
This is no surprise. Federico Fazio has made one appearance this season, and that was in the 2-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal in the Capital One Cup. Mauricio Pochettino has put Kevin Wimmer on the bench ahead of Fazio in league matches and has started Wimmer in Europa, generally with Toby Alderweireld in order to give Jan Vertonghen some rest. Fazio has had interest from the aforementioned West Bromwich Albion as well as his old club in Spain, Sevilla, who are wanting to pick up some depth for their Champions League run.
Thomas brings up the obvious part that Spurs should be looking to add another center back if they manage to sell Fazio. Links to center backs have been non-existent for Tottenham, so who knows where the club goes on this. For all we know, Spurs are trying to get Sergio Ramos as part of that "Real-Tottenham Partnership" that supposedly existed. Maybe another run at Mateo Musacchio? How about Hector Moreno post-broken leg? I also hear that Matt Miazga opted not to sign an extension with New York Red Bulls, so maybe get him to pair with Cameron Carter-Vickers in the future! All joking aside, this is a wait and see approach.
As for Townsend, the picture is fuzzier. He has had issues getting into the squad this season, having made only seven appearances for the club and just two in league play, usually finding himself behind Heung-Min Son and Josh Onomah on the bench. The altercation he had with Spurs Fitness Coach Nathan Gardiner has not helped his situation as Pochettino commented that he was disciplined for his actions. Townsend has not featured in any match since October 22 against Anderlecht in the Europa League and that does not appear to be changing. Townsend has since requested to play with the U-21 squad in order to keep match fit and has also hinted that he wouldn't be opposed to an exit. It's unclear as to who would be interested in Townsend, though the Daily Mail have suggested Newcastle are sniffing around in the hopes of paying £8m for his services, though consider the source and take it with a truckload of salt.
Finally, Lyall Thomas was asked about Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi as Spurs have been linked to him in the past few weeks.
Batshuayi of interest but he's not keen to move clubs in Jan. https://t.co/xYwejaodOm— Lyall Thomas (@SkySportsLyall) December 18, 2015
Batshuayi would be a great purchase for Tottenham, but Thomas is probably correct here. Marseille president Vincent Labrune has commented on this, stating that he expects Batshuayi to move on in the summer and will be looking for about £30m. It's best to temper any hopes of this because, while this kind of signing would be amazing, it's a pipe dream that won't happen unless something crazy occurs and Batshuayi hands in a transfer request. This seems very unlikely because Batshuayi is currently on a tear in Ligue 1, having bagged 11 goals and five assists in 18 matches while chipping in three more in the Europa League. If he keeps playing like that, Marseille will most likely get every bit of that £30m.
To summarize all of this, here's your TL;DR:
- Spurs are likely to sell Fazio and/or Townsend in January
- The Saido Berahino saga apparently isn't over
- Spurs aren't looking to sign another DM
- CB depth is probably needed, but we have no clue who we'd go for
- Batshuayi is a pipe dream and we should not get our hopes up