Nobody REALLY thought the Christian Eriksen saga was anywhere close to being finished, but even after Real Madrid has seemingly backed off their pursuit of the Tottenham Hotspur attacking midfield there’s a new twist to the tale. Writing in the Independent, Miguel Delaney is now reporting that Eriksen is now a potential £50m transfer target for Manchester United... and that Tottenham are considering letting him go.
The idea here is pretty straightforward: Eriksen still wants out of London, but with Madrid seemingly out of the picture he’s now ready to extend his “new challenge” to Manchester. Spurs, according to Delaney, have put a new contract offer in front of Eriksen, but he’s thus far refused to sign it. That’s weird, mainly because it goes against Eriksen’s supposed reason for wanting a transfer, which he couched as wanting to test himself at the highest level of world football. A transfer to United, who aren’t in the Champions League and still look like they are likely to finish fifth this season, would mean basically that he just wants to get paid. And that’s fine! But a move to United would certainly burn some bridges with the Tottenham fanbase and cause a firestorm of anger and betrayal.
For Spurs, selling Eriksen, even to United, makes financial sense, especially if he’s not going to sign a new deal. If Christian stays at Spurs but doesn’t sign a new contract, he would walk on a free transfer next summer. Even if Spurs found a buyer for him in January, they’d get a much lower fee for him than they’d get now, and clubs would be able to sign him on a pre-contract just after that. Delaney notes that Mauricio Pochettino is ready to sell him, even to a direct rival, if Eriksen isn’t fully committed to Spurs’ “new chapter.”
Then there’s the possibility that an Eriksen transfer could finally free up extra funds to land one of Bruno Fernandes or Giovani Lo Celso. I have my doubts that Spurs really need to sell to buy here, but landing one of those players would mean that an Eriksen sale would be a books-balancing measure and not a necessary transaction.
But hold on there, folks! There’s a conflicting report because of course there is. The Times (£) writes today that Eriksen still wants out, but his best bet of leaving Spurs this summer is a move to the continent, since United is unlikely to make any additional purchases this summer. Real Madrid seems set on signing Ajax’s Donny Van der Beek if they can’t get Paul Pogba, which leaves Eriksen out in the cold. The Times thinks that there’s little chance that United spends £50-60m on Eriksen when they’ve already spent £140m this summer on Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Harry Maguire. United might be potentially interested, but they have yet to make any kind of formal approach. But, things move fast in the last days of the transfer window.
Look, I’m not going to pretend that losing Eriksen to Manchester United wouldn’t suck. It absolutely, positively would. Seeing Eriksen wearing a red shirt and lining up against Spurs next season would be a punch to the gut. And to be clear, this is a “United are considering” article and not a “United have made a bid” article, so there’s a whole lot of room to question whether this is a deal that will happen or not.
Even so, there’s a calculated decision that probably will need to be made here in the next couple of days — cash in on a long-time iconic player who doesn’t look like he wants to be at Spurs anymore and strengthen a rival, or possibly let him walk for nothing in 12 months. It’s potentially a classic head vs. heart scenario. I know which one I’d choose. I would not dare presume to say what you should think here.