There’s a point in most long, protracted transfer sagas where you depart reality and logic and traverse through into the realm of the weird, where things are contradictory and nothing starts to make sense. It happens especially when you’ve been obsessing, as we sports fans are wont to do, over a particular topic and its minutiae for a while. It’s a bit like staring at one of those Magic Eye pictures from the 1990s: you know there’s a sailboat in there but sometimes no matter how long you stare at it you the big picture gets lost and you start to see things that maybe aren’t exactly there. Like maybe a schooner. (Shut up!)
We’re officially in bizarro-world with the Vincent Janssen transfer. Just a day after reports emerged that Spurs were in the Netherlands – physically present, a delegation of money-wielding businessmen with (one assumes) ties – to negotiate the transfer of Janssen to Tottenham Hotspur, AZ Alkmaar’s chairman Max Huiberts spoke to the media and said that, nope, Spurs actually haven’t made a second bid at all apart from the £11m initial bid that was rejected a few weeks ago.
"There is a lot of speculation and I read a lot of nonsense stories. We once received a bid from Tottenham Hotspur. We didn’t accept it. That's not so strange to me. It is not often that a club agrees immediately with a first offer. After that, we heard nothing.”
When asked whether he’d approach Tottenham to get the ball rolling again:
“No, that's not us. If you want to buy something, you have to go to the store. The store does not belong to you.”
That second bid that everyone talked about? The one that got Janssen hot and bothered enough that he slammed his club in the media and blamed them for blocking his “dream transfer?” Huiberts says it’s total fiction.
The news has, predictably, produced a storm of outrage from Tottenham fans on social media who have taken the opportunity to go full FFS PULL THE TRIGGER LEVY on the club. And sure, it’s frustrating when a transfer that you thought was near completion turns out to be maybe not as close as what you thought. We’re fans. We want that signing NOW, dammit!
However, if you step back, there probably isn’t much to worry about here. Despite the breathless exhortations in the media – and this site – that a deal was moments away from becoming reality, there’s a lot that’s in Tottenham’s favor. Janssen quite obviously is desperate to make a move to Tottenham. AZ has made it clear that they want a specific amount of money for Janssen. It’s exceptionally early in the transfer window. There probably isn’t a whole lot that Tottenham needs to discuss with AZ at this point. Both clubs know where the other one stands, and the ball’s in Spurs’ court. Maybe it’ll take a little longer than we fans want, but there’s probably a reason for it, and we as supporters aren’t usually privy to those kinds of finance-related transfer decisions and their explanations.
Janssen has suggested that he’d like to get the transfer over as soon as possible so he can begin training with his new club, and there’s value in that, but it’s not a deal breaker. Spurs are going to sign a striker this summer, and it’s probably going to be Vincent Janssen, even if it’s not on our timetable.
Just relax your eyes. There’s a sailboat in there.