Well, this is interesting. A report in the London Evening Standard today says that bookmakers have dramatically slashed the odds of Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin transferring to Tottenham Hotspur by the end of the summer transfer window.
Bookmakers Betfair today reduced the odds of Schneiderlin to Spurs from 10/1 yesterday to 6/4 today, after what they called "a flurry of bets." This is a dramatic adjustment, and represents a huge swing. Arsenal were the leading favorites to sign Schneiderlin up until now. A Betfair spokesperson said the following:
"Rumours have been circulating linking the 25 year old Frenchman to almost every big club in the Premier League and Arsenal have been leading the charge in the betting, with them accounting for 70 per cent of all of bets taken.
Today has seen enormous support for their North London rivals however, and we've been forced to cut Spurs from 10/1 to 6/4 favourites.
The biggest stumbling block for Spurs would be entering into a bidding war with a club like PSG at 6/1 or United who are 14/1, which might overinflate the price and force them to miss out on the midfielder."
Are you skeptical that gambling odds represent good information about transfer dealings? You should be. I'm not a gambler myself, but I know just enough to know that even when odds are supposedly good it's not an indication that any given transfer is going to happen, especially when we're a month and a half from the transfer window even opening. You may recall that English betting companies gave Tottenham very good odds of signing Christian Benteke in the summer of 2013... and then he went and renewed his contract with Aston Villa.
That said, when betting odds swing dramatically and quickly like this one does, it's usually an indicator that SOMETHING'S going on. A lot of people are suddenly betting a lot of money that Morgan Schneiderlin is going to end up at Tottenham Hotspur, so that indicates that there are people who believe they know something that not a lot of other people know about.
Schneiderlin has always professed that he wants to play Champions League football, and Spurs can't offer that right now. However, he's worked with Mauricio Pochettino (and reportedly got along very well with him) at Soton, and he'd be the ideal complement to Nabil Bentaleb in Spurs' midfield. In fact, he's top of most Spurs' fans list of midfield additions.
Should you get excited about this report? I wouldn't yet. We're still a good ways out from the transfer window even opening, much less closing, and Schneiderlin is still linked to a lot of big clubs in addition to Arsenal, including Manchester United and PSG, all of whom can offer more money to Southampton than Spurs. However, this is a very interesting development, and it's worth keeping an eye on it for the slim chance that Schneiderlin may decide to follow his heart rather than his ambition.