Normally, I don’t use the Daily Mirror as a primary source for transfer rumors. There are plenty of good reasons for this, but the most primary reason is this: they’re usually garbage. Not, like, the S-n or the Express kind of garbage, but still pretty bad.
But, as they say, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every so often, and while I’m not convinced there are any nuts or rodents in this particular scenario, since the conclusion of the transfer window is swiftly approaching it behooves me to share this particular one with you, because you’ve probably already seen it on social media.
According to (snarf) the Mirror, there’s been a breakthrough in negotiations between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United for the transfer of Toby Alderweireld. The deal is reportedly for £60m and is is set to be completed “in the next 48 hours.”
Now, to be clear: this rumor very well could be true! We don’t know! However, near as I can tell the Mirror are still the only somewhat-reputable (snarffle) running with this story, and there’s still that pesky little fact that it’s still the Mirror.
Case in point: here’s a tweet from Kristof Terreur, who is the gold standard for Belgian football transfers, discussing a Spanish twitter account that’s also reporting this (note that he doesn’t mention the Mirror at all in his feed).
Wonder why none of the respected Spanish colleagues follow this top journo... (or why he doesn’t sell his scoops instead of posting them on here and not actually writing a story) Still getting the numbers though. https://t.co/XuMW4Z9P9Q— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) August 3, 2018
(If you still want to panic a bit, Kristoff could be dismissing the “done deal” part and is still waiting to confirm the “he’s still probably leaving Spurs” part.)
I’ve been on the “we should sell Toby now” train for a good while, mostly because we a) have Davinson Sanchez and b) otherwise would lose him for £25m next summer, which would be ludicrous. £60m is without question a good price of a 29-year old defender who looks like he wants to leave and would DEFINITELY go for less than half that next summer.
The nasty part of this story is that there isn’t a corresponding story that talks about Manchester United sending Anthony Marital the other direction, or any other midfielders in the mix not named “Jack Grealish.” And that sucks! But it also doesn’t necessarily mean that if the deal goes through that Spurs won’t use that cash to fund a good move for a central midfielder or another CB.
The worst case scenario is that Spurs sell Toby, pocket the cash, and Grealish is the only signing of note coming in at the end of the window. That would be awful, and it’s not fun to live in that headspace. I much prefer to think that the Toby money gets immediately dropped on Florentino Perez’s doorstep with a note that says “for the purchase of one (1) Mateo Kovacic.”
We’re going to find out whether this is accurate one way or the other by Thursday at the latest. I’d just caution everyone to take a step backwards. This is something that could happen. But you also have to remember:
It’s the g-d Mirror.
Everyone just breathe.