The Clinton N’Jie transfer saga took another twist this morning. Just days after reporting that Tottenham Hotspur’s Cameroonian forward was one of four not in Spurs’ club and was free to move to Marseille on loan, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pocchetino today came out and said the complete opposite, that N’Jie was only left out of Spurs’ preseason tour to Australia because he is injured.
Pochettino made the comments in a news conference ahead of Spurs’ friendly match against Juventus in the International Champions Cup in Melbourne.
"Njie is injured -- he picked up a small injury a few days after the start of preseason and he is in London and was not available to come.”
WHAT. IS. GOING. ON. Everything we’ve read and heard coming out of the club was pretty clear: N’Jie was surplus to requirements, that he was a condition of the sale of Georges-Kevin N’Koudou, and that he’d be heading to OM on loan this season with an option to buy of 7m euros.
Pochettino was emphatic about the other three players on the sell-list, though.
"The situation of the other three players -- Bentaleb, Fazio and Pritchard -- is very clear. They are not in my plans and they know. I have communicated with them and it was made very clear. It's not a problem. They know the situation and we'll see what happens."
That’s that, then. But Clinton’s situation seems to be a lot more complex. I don’t really have a handle of what’s going on, but there are a couple of possibilities here.
- Poche is telling the truth and all the ITK and rumors about Clinton were false. Possible, but unlikely. Typically when you get this much smoke, there’s a fire.
- Something has changed with Clinton’s situation. Maybe he did pick up an injury and it scuppered the loan deal. If so, Poche might be putting on an “everything is fine” face and pretending none of this actually happened. This could be a ploy to strengthen Poche’s hand in negotiations, too.
- Poche is being respectful in the media towards Clinton, like he was towards Soldado. Do you remember when Roberto Soldado was sold how Poche was always saying Bobby Soldier was in his plans for the season? It turns out that he was being sold, but Poche liked him a lot and was trying to keep things respectful in the media. Maybe something is going on here like that.
- Poche is upset that he has to sell Clinton, and he doesn’t want to. He may not want to sell N’Jie, but coming out and essentially lying to the media doesn’t seem like a pretty good tactic to me. I doubt it’s this.
Man, I don’t even know. Nor do I know if Clinton’s situation is what’s holding up the transfer of Georges-Kevin N’koudou from Marseille. All I know is I’d like this to be resolved one way or the other, and soon. Because this is beyond ridiculous at this point.