Saido Berahino is good at football. We know this because we watched him last year and saw what he was capable of doing for West Bromwich Albion. He's been linked all over the place given his contract situation, but most of the rumors have turned up to be empty. This morning, another of those rumors has popped, but there seems to be more substance this time around.
If you're like me, you have some form of sports app on your phone that alerts you when things go down. For me, my alerts come from ESPN's Sportscenter app. Occasionally, I get something regarding Tottenham but it's almost always when something is a done deal. Today, however, the following alert came to me:
"Report: Tottenham Hotspur preparing bid for West Brom forward Saido Berahino."
ESPN isn't really known as a rag, but it depends on where this comes from. A quick search on ESPNFC.com shows that Peter O'Rourke is citing his own sources who confirm that a bid is being prepared. Here's an excerpt from O'Rourke's article:
Tottenham are preparing a bid for West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino, sources have told ESPN FC.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has identified Berahino as his top target as he makes a new striker a top priority, with Emmanuel Adebayor -- who is in talks with Aston Villa -- and Roberto Soldado both expected to move on.
Tottenham are long-term admirers of Berahino but decided against making a move in the January window.
The 21-year-old is regarded as one of the best young strikers in the country and he was rewarded with his first call-up to Roy Hodgson's England squad last season, although he has yet to make his senior debut.
The forward was also selected for England under-21s for this summer's European Championships, but had to withdraw through injury.
The key thing here, of course, is that O'Rourke is trusting his sources. O'Rourke, for those of you who don't know him, is no slouch. He was a football news editor with Sky Sports for fourteen years before mainly going freelance, though he is contracted with ESPN currently since 2014.
We've had stories about Berahino off and on this summer, so let's try to piece all of it together and see why this is popping up now.
First, Berahino unceremoniously fired his agent, Aidy Ward, back on July 8 mainly in response to the Raheem Sterling saga. Neither Ward or Berahino have talked much about it, and that isn't a surprise. Berahino had only been with Ward's group for one season, but what's missing from this story is who he replaced Ward with. There has been no information regarding him hiring anyone, and that could be the missing link to this entire rumor.
If we fast forward to July 19, The Birmingham Mail reported that West Brom was trying to get a new contract in place for Berahino, who has two years left on his deal. This was followed up by The Daily Mail today reporting that West Brom not only wanted to get a new contract in place, but were willing to pay him double his current wages of £15k per week.
The timing of the O'Rourke story seems to hinge on a couple of things that we don't know: What Spurs are willing to offer Berahino contract wise and how badly Berahino wants to move. If he's hired a new agent, that would help bring the puzzle pieces together.
Wrapping it all up, there looks to be something here. Berahino is a fantastic talent that would instantly improve Spurs' attack, especially since he's healed up from his knee injury. There's also the excitement of knowing that he and Harry Kane have played well together for England's U-21s. If West Brom is in a hurry to get him signed, then expect more on this in the coming days. For now, we're in a holding pattern.