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Don't believe it! Spurs have not bid for Clinton N'Jie

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This story is made of nothing. It is, however, a good test to see whether you should trust a particular news outlet.

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In the morning I read Newsnow. I'm not proud of this fact, but it's something mindless to do while I have breakfast and try to keep a good portion of my son's breakfast from ending up on the floor. This morning there was a weirdly specific article at "shoot.co.uk" about Tottenham Hotspur bidding £7m for Olympique Lyon's Clinton N'Jie.

This is at least hypothetically exciting. N'Jie is a fantastic talent, a 21-year-old wide forward who can beat anyone on or off the ball, and who has a knack for getting into good shooting positions within the danger zone. His 7 goals and 7 assists in 1500 minutes in Ligue 1 last year are elite stats, backed up by strong expected goals and expected assists numbers.

But I will not get excited until I see the sourcing. In this case there was no sourcing. Shoot.co.uk merely said that a bid was "reportedly" made. There were literally no other contemporary stories about N'Jie and Tottenham that I could find. And I know that when Spurs were very linked to N'Jie back in June by the Sun, the French website Foot01 said it would take "a mountain of gold" to prise the Cameroonian forward from OL's grasp. £7m wouldn't pass the smell test even if this came from a good source. And my son was finishing breakfast anyway and we had to go get some coffee. So I set it down.

I returned this afternoon to find that several outlets were reporting the same thing, a specific £7m bid for N'Jie. Most of them, if they were honest, linked to the Metro as the source of the story. And in the Metro, there at the bottom of the page, in the middle of the bottom of the page, away from everything else in the middle of the bottom of the page, screen-captured, was the greatest sourcing a news report has ever had.

I reproduce it for you here because you deserve to have this experience too.

the greatest sourcing in the history of jounalism

The reason it's a screen capture is because this is a private account. The source of this story is a private ITK twitter account.

Just in case that was not clear. The story circulating today about Tottenham Hotspur bidding on Clinton N'Jie began with a private ITK twitter tweet, and it was then upgraded to "news" by the good people at the Metro and shoot.co.uk. Other people on the internet ran with this and then sourced it to "reports."

A private ITK twitter account.

I'm going to go lie down.