Tottenham Hotspur previously indicated it wouldn't sell its best players this summer, "even Dele Alli for £100m." It didn't say anything about Ryan Mason. Today, the first report is coming out about a possible player exit from White Hart Lane, with Tom Collomosse suggesting that Bournemouth is ready to offer Spurs £6m this summer to secure the services of the Spurs academy graduate.
Mason was a regular first team starter for Spurs in central midfield alongside Nabil Bentaleb last season, and started this season in the same position beside Eric Dier, but picked up an injury against Sunderland in September. By the time he was healthy again, Spurs had a settled midfield of Dier and Mousa Dembele, Dele Alli had worked his way into the lineup, and Mason spent the rest of the season as a reserve option.
It has been strongly implied in reports coming out of the club that Spurs are planning to improve the depth in the squad in preparation for Champions League. One of those areas that pretty desperately needs strengthening is central midfield, which is a little thin once you get beyond Dier and Dembele. Mason was one of the first options off the bench this season, along with Tom Carroll who is out of contract this summer, but this suggests that one or both academy grads could be departing this summer.
Collomosse states that "Spurs are likely to ask for more" than £6m which would be (a) consistent with Daniel Levy's negotiating tactics, and (b) probable considering the price Spurs got from Newcastle for Andros Townsend and Mason's status as a homegrown English player. It's early days, but Mason does seem like the kind of player that Eddie Howe might gravitate towards as Bournemouth try and solidify their Premier League position next season.
We crap on Mason a lot on here, but he's a perfectly capable Premier League caliber midfielder, especially in the forward attacking band. He's just probably not a good fit for a Tottenham Hotspur that's competing in the Champions League. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if Mason is sold on to another club in the mid-table or bottom half of the Premier League, and for a pretty good price.