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Spurs reportedly tracking Manchester United's Tom Cleverley

Spurs are looking to upgrade their midfield. This would not be an upgrade.

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By now it's apparent to just about everyone that Tottenham Hotspur needs to upgrade their midfield ahead of next season's Premier League season. This means, naturally, that Spurs are going to be linked to just about every possible midfielder within their price range from now until the end of the window. Today's rumor is from Sky Sports, which understands (see what I did there?) that Spurs are interested in signing Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley.

Cleverley is a product of the United youth system and was identified a few years ago by Sir Alex Ferguson as a possible home-grown midfield replacement for Paul Scholes. Sir Alex loved him (and played him), but Cleverley found himself on the fringes of the team after Ferguson retired and United purchased players such as Ander Herrera, Angel Di Maria, Juan Mata, and Daley Blind. He was shipped off to Aston Villa on loan this season where he's made 26 appearances for the Villains but is usually behind Fabian Delph and Carlos Sanchez Moreno on the depth chart.

Spurs are looking for an upgrade at midfielder, but Cleverley isn't clearly better at present than Nabil Bentaleb or Ryan Mason. So why are Spurs linked to him? Well, his contract expires at the end of the season and he's almost certainly leaving United this summer, which would theoretically make Daniel Levy's head swivel like a dog who's seen a squirrel. Free + Daniel Levy + midfielder = transfer rumor. He's also linked with Arsenal because of course he is.

Yes, Tottenham needs an upgrade in central midfield, but Villa's midfield isn't exactly setting the world on fire either at present. If he can't make United's midfield and isn't getting regular starts for a relegation candidate, it seems unlikely that he'd come in and make an immediate impact at Tottenham. Plus, Spurs have a host of young, hungry midfielders like Tom Carroll and Dele Alli who don't command (reportedly) £40,000/wk in wages.

If Levy wants to bring in a decent rotation midfielder for zilch, Cleverley wouldn't be awful, I guess, but at his wages this seems like a dumb rumor and I don't believe it for a second.