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Spurs look to Ligue 1 to fill hole in midfield

Monaco may be having a firesale!

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AS Monaco v Club Brugge - UEFA Champions League Group A Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

The January transfer window deadline is rapidly approaching and it’s been about as exciting as watching paint dry. There’s only been a handful of deals completely in Europe, with Chelsea completing most of the big business (Pulisic, Morata, Higuain) in England. Meanwhile, our beloved Tottenham Hotspur have tried to temper expectations with possible business with any expected moves to be outbound. Nevertheless, the rumor mill keeps turning.

In this morning’s Sky Sports Transfer Centre, it was reported that Mauricio Pochettino was not optimistic about making any signings and was mainly looking to offload dead weight, including the likes of Vincent Janssen and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou. Whether or not those deals happen remain to be seen, but at least there’s interest in them. Twenty minutes prior to those comments, however, was a report that Spurs are looking to pip Leicester City for AS Monaco midfielder Youri Tielemans.

Tottenham are exploring the chances of signing Monaco midfielder Youri Tielemans, Sky Sports News has been told. One source close to the negotiations has confirmed they are in talks over a possible deal to bring the Belgian midfielder to North London – though officially, Spurs have denied any interest in the player. Leicester City remain the favourites to bring Tielemans to the Premier League– possibly with Adrien Silva going in the opposite direction as a part-swap deal. But Spurs look ready to compete with Leicester over his signature – Monaco want in excess of £20m. Tielemans is 21, but has already won 19 caps for Belgium and helped them to the World Cup semi-finals in the summer.

We’ve seen the whole SKY SPORTS UNDERSTANDS routine, which is just slightly above The Daily Star and Mirror throwing crap at the wall to see what sticks, but this seems to at least have some shred of plausibility. Matt Law at The Telegraph seems to be confirming this has some weight, writing this short excerpt about three hours ago:

Pochettino is keen to boost his midfield options after selling Mousa Dembele and suffering injury problems, but is also wary of signing players before he has created any more space in his squad. It now remains to be seen whether or not Pochettino will act quickly enough to stop 21-year-old Tielemans joining Leicester before the transfer window shuts on Thursday.

In the world of transfer rumors, Matt Law is credible. He’s proven to have decent sources and has followed Spurs for quite some time now, so there’s no Bat Country here. It doesn’t appear that Sky Sports is attributing their reporting to Law, though, claiming they have their own sources on the matter.

Tielemans has been a rising star in Europe the past few seasons. He’s still just 21 years old and is very good. Monaco, meanwhile, are a dumpster fire. They’re sitting in the relegation zone in Ligue 1, fired Leonardo Jardim and hired Thierry Henry. Henry lasted all of a cup of tea and managed to alienate half the first team squad in the process, allowing Monaco to hire Jardim back. Needless to say, it’s not been a fun season on the south coast of France. Players are looking for a way out and Tielemans is one of them.

Tielemans started his career at RSC Anderlecht as a teenager, making 139 appearances for the Belgian club before making a £24m move to Monaco. He’s made 47 appearances for the French side and is still coveted by a number of clubs. The most important thing is that he’s a young midfielder who can play in a pivot and hasn’t even come close to hitting his peak.

If there was ever a time to spend money, this is it. Tielemans checks all the boxes for what Spurs need, and if the fee is just over £20m? This is a no-brainer. Get it done, Levy!