The rumors linking Kyle Walker with a move away from Tottenham Hotspur are not letting up. Despite Walker traveling with Spurs to Hong Kong for their post-season friendly match today (and starting the match!), most observers are expecting that Walker will leave Spurs this summer for another club.
That club looks more and more likely to be Manchester City. Today, City dumped Pablo Zabaleta off to West Ham on a free transfer and signed Monaco AMF Bernardo Silva for €60m, and now the Independent say that City are “confident” that the club will be able to sign Walker as well to be their new right back.
Walker clashed with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino this spring and decided he wants to leave the club, with City set to become the beneficiaries. The 26-year-old can expect to double his £70,000 per week wage at the Etihad, while City have for some time been aware of, and comfortable with, the fee Tottenham would need to complete the deal.
– Ed Malyon, The Independent
That’s not confirmation by any means and this being a transfer rumor story there’s still plenty of wiggle room here, but it’s the clearest statement yet in the media that City are willing to spend a ton of cash to get their man. Walker has apparently fallen out with Pochettino after a series of bit matches were Poch started Kieran Trippier over him, including the FA Cup semifinal against Chelsea, and the final North London Derby at White Hart Lane.
And before you dismiss this as just paper talk, check this out: Walker’s teammate and wing back partner Danny Rose seemed to obliquely reference him when talking about current Spurs players possibly leaving the club this summer. (Thankfully, the same clip seems to imply that Harry Kane is staying forever, and that the majority of the players are in for the project.)
The Independent doesn’t say what the price Spurs are demanding for Walker is, but with City looking like they could spend upwards of £300m this summer on player acquisitions, Spurs pricing City out of the deal appears unlikely. I still have my doubts that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will strengthen a direct rival for top four in this way even for obscene amounts of money, but if the relationship between Walker and the club have deteriorated to the point where his continued employment is untenable, that might force his hand.
From what we’ve seen, unless Spurs turn around and make a right wing back a transfer priority we should start getting used to the idea of seeing Kieran Trippier line up for Spurs on most match days. Don’t give up hope just because I tell you to, but it’s looking more and more like Walker’s days at Tottenham are numbered.