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Hope rising at Spurs Lodge for midfield transfer target

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tl;dr: Tottenham might get Schneiderlin, if Arsenal do something silly.

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People at Tottenham Hotspur think they might be able to sign Morgan Schneiderlin this summer. When the betting odds on Schneiderlin-to-Spurs started falling, we concluded that this meant some people out there thought they knew something. Today we learn what those people knew. It's not that a transfer is complete, or that personal terms have been agreed or anything like that.

Rather, according to a report from the Telegraph, sources at Spurs think there's a real chance Arsenal will look elsewhere in their midfield transfer dealings, leaving Southampton's French CM to fall to Tottenham.

Tottenham Hotspur have not given up hope of landing Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin this summer with Arsenal having widened their midfielder search.

Spurs failed to sign Schneiderlin last year and feared the Frenchman would head to their north London rivals at the end of this season. But the emergence of Francis Coquelin and manager Arsène Wenger’s desire to sign a midfielder who combines defensive and creative qualities have given Tottenham fresh encouragement over Schneiderlin.

Arsenal remain seriously interested in the 25-year-old, but it would seem Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan is a more favoured option while Yohan Cabayé is an alternative to the Germany international.

This seems like a reasonable read of the central midfield transfer landscape. Tottenham will need to wait, watch the dominoes fall, and be prepared to pounce as quickly as possible on the best player left standing. If Arsenal are actually (a) committing to Coquelin as their most/only defensively oriented midfielder and (b) going after Gundogan or Cabaye to pair with him instead, then Schneiderlin very well might not have any better options than Spurs.

I am still very skeptical here, as it is hard for me to believe that Arsenal would mistake all their injured attacking players returning to the squad for Coquelin actually being good—Arsenal have actually been conceding just as many if not more good chances with Coquelin in the lineup. And it's hard for me to believe that Arsenal would simply let an elite talent like Schneiderlin fall to Tottenham. But it's possible.

Despite my skepticism, I am confident that this article gives us useful information. People at Tottenham think Arsenal might be going another way. They think this puts Spurs in the lead for Schneiderlin. Telegraph reporter Matt Law has demonstrated the quality of his sources at Tottenham with scoops like the Gylfi/Vorm/Davies swap deal. I am strongly inclined to believe this report as a good description of what people at Spurs are thinking.

Any move for Schneiderlin remains fully dependent on Arsenal doing something inadvisable. I will believe that when it happens and no sooner. But the Telegraph reports that Spurs have hope, and that is something.