West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino is clearly Tottenham Hotspur's top target in what's left of the summer transfer window, but despite Berahino submitting a written transfer request, the Baggies are playing hardball over Berahino's fee. West Brom have always held firm to their valuation of £25m for the England youth international, and now as the window draws to a close there are reports that the club could revise their asking price upwards to closer to £30m.
That's a lot of cheddar. So what happens if Tottenham bail on Berahino and look elsewhere? If we look at players whom Spurs have been linked to earlier in the window, we can identify six possible players that Spurs could move on before the window slams shut.
Javier Hernandez - Manchester United
Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez perhaps isn't the splashiest of signings, but if you're looking for an underrated striker who might be content to play second fiddle to Harry Kane, Little Pea would certainly fit the profile. Hernandez has been in the unenviable position of having had to be a backup at most of his clubs in Europe; he's been mired behind Wayne Rooney at United since his arrival, and just got back from a loan to Real Madrid where he was behind... well, everyone. It's not really his fault, but Hernandez always seemed to be at a club that had someone that was just better than him.
But that's not to say that he wouldn't do well at Spurs. He's fast, tricky, and would probably be more than an adequate substitute for Harry in Europa, Cups, and even the league. He's not the kind of player who will drop deep and hold up the ball like Kane, but he does have a knack, much like Jermain Defoe, of dragging defenders out of position and finding open space. He's a different striker, but we're probably not going to find Diet Harry Kane in this window anyway. Plus he might only cost around £12m, which ain't bad for a backup striker.
Charlie Austin – Queens Park Rangers
Charlie Austin had a solid season last year for a terrible Queens Park Rangers squad that ended up getting relegated back to the Championship, scoring 18 goals while the rest of his squad seemed to forget how to play football for long stretches of time. QPR is well aware of the value that Austin brings to the club and slapped a £15m price tag on him from the get go. The 26-year-old has said the obvious in that he would love to play in the Premier League and, quite honestly, he should be. Austin is a tad different than some of the players on this list is that he is a striker, through and through. He doesn't play wide at all, which means that he would have to be happy with backing up Harry Kane. The part that complicates a possible deal for QPR and Austin is that QPR doesn't have TV money to fall back on, so selling Austin for a sizeable fee would make perfect sense, but QPR has said that they are more than happy to hang on to him and give him a new contract if nobody meets their valuation. Plenty of clubs have been linked to him, with Crystal Palace and Newcastle supposedly waiting in the wings.
Pato – Corinthians
The true wild card of this bunch is Alexandre Pato, who is currently on loan from Corinthians to São Paulo. Pato was a player destined to be world class, and he was showing it in his early years at Milan. However, injuries de-railed his career at times and he struggled to regain the form that made him so lethal in Serie A. Still only 25-years-old, Pato has begun to show the brilliance he once had and, most importantly, has managed to stay healthy since returning to South America. Corinthians have made it pretty clear that they want to sell Pato, and it's believed that it wouldn't take anything more than £8m to bring him back to Europe. Pato, like Charlie Austin, is a striker and would absolutely be brought in as a back-up, simply because of the injury concerns, even with his clean injury record since moving away from Europe. The red flag is still waving high, but if he were to be healthy, he is a dangerous striker that could be a super sub for Spurs.
Yannick Bolasie – Crystal Palace
Pete O'Rourke says Yannick Bolasie isn't a target for Tottenham Hotspur, but they could quickly change their minds about that if they find out that their primary transfer targets are unavailable. His price is rumored to be £20m, which is pretty high, but it would also likely be a low-BS move. Alan Pardew has said Bolasie would be crazy not to consider a move to Spurs, which kind of screams "I'd rather have £20m to spend than this player."
Bolasie was excellent for Crystal Palace last year and has been a solid player for them three years running. He fills an immediate need, which is pace on the wing. But at £20m, Spurs might not be too interested. He's certainly good enough for Spurs, but good enough to be worth that kind of money? Spurs might feel like they can find the same production at half the price.
Andriy Yarmolenko – Dinamo Kyiv
We don’t really know how much Andriy Yarmolenko would cost, either in fee or wages. We don’t know if he wants to come to Spurs. We don’t know if he’d be any good in the Premier League. This is a giant shot in the dark on our part, and even if Spurs made a move, they’d be doing so without great information. It’s tough to project Ukrainian league players’ success in big leagues.
But here’s some good news. Yevhen Konoplyanka looks pretty good at Sevilla. Douglas Costa looks like Superman at Bayern Munich. Yarmo looked as good as those two guys in the same league. He’s looked good against high-level international competition too. If he wants to come and he wants reasonable wages, he’s probably worth the gamble for Spurs.
Timo Werner - Stuttgart
You look at Timo Werner’s stats and you think, this guy is a top prospect? Tottenham Hotspur are considering paying a lot of money for him? Why? And that’s fair, because he really didn’t play well last season, but it might not be his fault.
His club, Stuttgart, are a black hole of suck. They’re magic. Talented players go there and start playing poorly. They have a squad that should stay up in the Bundesliga easily, but are somehow god awful and no one really knows why.
If you subscribe to the Stuttgart are magic theory, as I do, you should there’s a good chance Werner finds his form immediately after leaving, no matter where he goes. Other people (like Michael Caley) are a bit more skeptical, and understandably so. But even if Werner isn’t worth £10m, I promise you he’s not the bum his stats make him out to be.
Are there other potential Tottenham targets that Spurs could move for in the window? Sound off in the comments.