Some dueling stories emerged in the French footballing media today concerning Olympique Lyon and Tottenham Hotspur, and it's simultaneously confusing, weird, and depending on who you ask, maybe a little exciting.
Tottenham have been linked to French forward Clinton Njie as they continue to look for ways to bolster their attacking options, and French daily Le Parisien is claiming (behind a paywall, unfortunately) that Lyon could part with him for as little as €12m... but only if Federico Fazio is included as part of the deal. There are some problems with this rumor, but we'll get to that in a second.
There have been rumors that Spurs had a €10m bid rejected for Njie by Lyon last month, but Njie is the kind of player that fits the profile that Spurs are apparently looking for: young and dynamic with a high ceiling and an ability to play up top or out wide.
But here's where it gets weird. France-based football writer Matt Spiro tweeted today, referencing a L'Equipe article also behind a paywall, that notoriously crazy Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas is fed up with the attitude of striker Alexandre Lacazette, and is ready to dump him if he doesn't improve his attitude at Lyon. Lacazette has also been linked to Spurs, but also heavily with a move to Liverpool (though Liverpool already have Benteke, Firmino, Balotelli, and Ings, so God knows why they'd want another striker):
Alexandre Lacazette told to sign contract extension or leave by Lyon. Performances and attitude in pre-season not good enough (L'Equipe)— Matt Spiro (@mattspiro) August 4, 2015
But if Lacazette is sold to... well, whomever, that would most likely rule out Njie leaving the club, since it seems highly unlikely that Aulas would content to losing two extremely talented young offensive weapons in one offseason.
However, in the middle of all of this we also need to remember that Aulas is widely considered to be a maniac. With Aulas, it's often difficult to reconcile the truth from the invective, and just because he runs his mouth off about a player doesn't mean that it's going to happen or even that what he says is true.
So where does that leave Tottenham? Well, that's the million-pound question. With Njie, if the reports of a rejected €10m bid are true, it seems ludicrous that Spurs would agree to €12m plus Fazio. There have been murmurs about Fazio possibly leaving the club for a good enough offer, but a player plus £8m for a player previously rated at at most €15m seems, well, nuts.
Lacazette would be a fantastic signing for Spurs as well, but he is known for being a bit of a meathead, and nobody trusts anything that comes out of Aulas' mouth at the moment.
I'd be quite satisfied with either Njie or Lacazette at the end of the day, but I'm having a hard time following the algebra of these particular rumors. At this point, it's probably best to shrug your shoulders, say it's complicated, man, and see what shakes loose in a week or so.