The offseason has already seen two good central midfield targets snatched up by clubs which cannot rival Tottenham for economic power. Southampton signed Jordy Clasie from Feyenoord for a fee of just £8.5m (including incentives), while Porto acquired Marseille's Giannelli Imbula for £13.9m. And today MARCA is reporting that Atletico Madrid defensive midfielder Mario Suarez has agreed to personal terms with Fiorentina. This would be the first step in a swap deal which would send center back Stefan Savic back to Atleti.
But not so fast, maybe? There is (allegedly) a report from Sky Italia that Tottenham have made contact with Suarez' representatives in a bid to GAZUMP Fiorentina's pursuit of the midfielder. That would be pretty cool. Suarez is a defensive midfielder and by all accounts a good one. Tottenham desperately need a good defensive midfielder. But there are a lot of problems with this story, all leading me to think that we will soon be watching another good DM signing with a club which could not reasonably expect to compete with Spurs for a player the club committed to.
Problem 1: I can't find the original report. All I have is this account of it from Forza Italian Football. So maybe it was shown on television but not on the website, and soon it will come up, but for now it's worth taking the sourcing alone with a grain of salt.
Problem 2: Assuming this is a real report on Sky Italia, the way Forza describe it makes it sound like a whole lot of diddly-squat. They say, "Premier League side Tottenham have also made contact with the player’s representatives." What this means is that the leak came from Suarez' agent.
Problem 3: There is much stronger reporting of negotiations with Fiorentina. So it's possible that Spurs really did call up Suarez' agent and tell him, wait a minute we're about to SWOOP. But it is a lot more likely that this is just a part of ongoing negotiations with Fiorentina, and Suarez' representatives are seeding a story in the press to try to squeeze a little more cash out of the Viola.
Tottenham need a central midfielder and preferably a true defensive midfielder. We have four or five guys who are best playing either in a true pivot or, better, as the more advanced and adventurous of two CMs. We do not have anyone except the shortly-to-depart Benjamin Stambouli who plays best as a DM. Very few of our central midfielders make a plausibly good pairing, but a bunch of them would be interesting paired with Mario Suarez or his like, and Bentaleb-Suarez sounds really good.
And yet most likely this is another miss. There are only three weeks until the new season starts for a new CM signing to get the necessary time in training to learn Pochettino's press and tactics. I hope this report is for real and that soon the Telegraph will have the same story. I doubt it. Which means time is running short to get the next central midfield target lined up and signed. I hope that works out.