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Top Spurs target wants Arsenal, Chelsea, United or City instead

Why do we allow hope to cloud our judgment?

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Today Morgan Schneiderlin gave an interview with the French radio station RMC Sport in which he laid out what he is hoping for this summer. Basically, the midfielder is ready to leave Southampton and he wants to go to a Champions League club. He does not want to go to a Europa League club. You may have heard recently that Tottenham Hotspur fall into the latter category, not the former.

The interview was helpfully transcribed (in French) by This is the "highlight":

Oui je pense que ma décision est prise, on la connait. Je ne me prends pas la tête, j'ai beaucoup appris de la saison dernière. L'objectif est de rester en Angleterre, c'est un championnat que j'aime beaucoup et où je prends beaucoup de plaisir. Si je pars de Southampton c'est pour un club qui joue mieux que l'Europa League. Je vais me poser pour réfléchir, il y a des discussions en cours, mais rien n'est fait. Mais bien sûr que la Ligue des champions c'est mon objectif. Si je quitte Southampton, ce sera pour un club en Champions League"

His decision is made. He wants to remain in England and he wants to play in the Champions League. If he does leave Southampton, it will not be for a team in the Europa League. If as some who claim inside knowledge have implied, Schneiderlin secretly harbors a desire to play for Mauricio Pochettino again, he has apparently kept it secret from himself as well.

None of this is particularly surprising. Schneiderlin is an elite midfielder—he was arguably the second-best player in England this last season. It would have taken quite a lucky concatenation of events for Spurs to be his destination. Now it appears that Schneiderlin himself has broken that chain in a key place. He does not want to come to Tottenham because he wants Champions League football.

You can close your eyes and imagine a world where all four of England's Champions League clubs pass on Schneiderlin and he has to rethink whether he wants to stay at Southampton on lesser wages or go to Spurs and earn more. But don't do that to yourself. Hope is dumb.