So you say you want some transfer rumors on this fine Thursday? I’ve got some for you. Miguel Delaney, chief football correspondent at the Independent, dropped some hints that Tottenham Hotspur could be spending big this summer as they try and retool for next year’s Premier League campaign.
According to Delaney, Mauricio Pochettino will have a war chest of about £120m to spend on transfers this summer, an amount that probably doesn’t include any potential profits from the sale of Toby Alderweireld. Spurs are likely to focus their attentions on the defense positions as well as central midfield positions, which is not at all surprising, considering the ongoing rumors that swirl around both Toby and Danny Rose.
£120m sounds like a lot of money, but in today’s bats—t crazy transfer market it’s really not that much in comparison to what Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea will likely spend. Even if that number is accurate (and really, who actually knows), Spurs will need to be very deliberate with their transfer targets in this offseason.
The two main defensive targets that Delaney specifically mention are 18-year old Ajax central defender Matthijs de Ligt, and Newcastle center back Jamaal Lascelles, both of whom have apparently impressed Pochettino. De Ligt is especially interesting -- he’s had a pretty impressive season with Ajax this year, is considered one of the better defensive prospects in Europe, and also partnered with Davinson Sanchez for the whole of last season. Lascelles, 24, is Newcastle’s club captain and has been the rock in their back line, helping Rafa Benitez and Toon go from promotion last season to tenth. He’s also scored three goals this season.
Both de Ligt and Lascelles are likely to command pretty healthy transfer fees as both are essential to their current clubs. Defense will surely be something that Spurs will want to address: if Alderweireld does go (and it looks like he probably will) without reinforcements Spurs will go into the season with a central defense corps of Jan Vertonghen, Davinson Sanchez, Juan Foyth, Cameron Carter-Vickers, and (occasionally) Eric Dier.
Also, for those of you still reeling from the news about Mousa Dembele yesterday, Delaney had this to say:
Spurs are meanwhile said to be relaxed about Mousa Dembele’s contract situation and the midfield position, and there remains the possibility that he will extend for another year although China is also an option.
That’s not exactly rebuking the rumors, but it might be something to at least hang your hat on for now. Even so, Dembele will be moved on eventually, and it’s probably worth Spurs kicking the tires on a couple of new central midfield options as well.
The usual caveats apply: it’s April, it’s all just rumors, nobody probably really knows anything, etc. etc. But even if it’s #batcountry it’s still fun to think about it.