Get ready: the Kyle Walker saga is expected to officially get underway this week. Sky Sports Tottenham beat writer Lyall Thomas is reporting today that Manchester City is ready to make a formal approach to purchase Tottenham Hotspur right back Kyle Walker.
According to Lyall, City’s first bid is likely to be in the £40m range but notes that Spurs value him closer to £50m. As for the reported £60m valuation, Lyall addresses that too, suggesting that City aren’t aware that Spurs’ asking price for Walker currently runs that high.
City are certainly unaware of any increase in Spurs' valuation towards £60m, which was cited by several newspapers over the weekend.
That takes care of the how much, but more curiously the why is still a little nebulous. Walker, apparently, isn’t forcing a move but is upset at the perception that he’s been passed over by Kieran Trippier for a number of big matches last season.
The implication is that Trippier has caught up to, or even surpassed, Walker on Spurs’ depth chart, which makes Walker potentially expendable. Which as we’ve stated numerous times on this blog is a patently ridiculous notion, though there does exist a reasonable argument that selling Walker this summer for a high price makes financial and tactical sense. That said, if Mauricio Pochettino thinks that Trippier is as good or better a fullback than Walker right now, whoof.
Negotiations for a player of Walker’s calibre often take a while, so it would surprise me if things get done quickly, but you never know. What we do know is that Walker just signed a new contract last summer and is otherwise a Tottenham Hotspur player until 2022. That means Spurs hold most of the cards in this negotiations. Daniel Levy is a fierce negotiator, and if Walker is to be sold this summer expect it to be for the maximum amount of money that Levy can wring out of City.