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Leipzig confirm Spurs interest in Sabitzer, but talks will have to wait

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Don’t expect anything in January.

RB Leipzig v Manchester United: Group H - UEFA Champions League Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images

As Tottenham Hotspur continue to deal with a crowded holiday fixture list, Silly Season is upon us with the January transfer window opening up this weekend.

Rumors will never stop coming in, but one that we can confirm now is that Jose Mourinho and Spurs are interested in 26-year-old RB Leipzig midfielder Marcel Sabitzer. The confirmation comes via an interview with Markus Krosche and Bild (translated by Sport Witness) recently.

“We wanted to end the year first, both sides will deal more intensively with the topic in the spring. As I said, he has made a great development. It goes without saying that other clubs also notice this,” Krösche said.

Sabitzer has three goals and three assists in all competitions for Leipzig this season.

When asked which player has been the ‘biggest positive surprise’ this season. Krösche said: “Actually, I don’t like singling out anyone individually. But Marcel Sabitzer has really developed well. I also deal with him outside of the field. He accepts the role of captain extremely well and has matured even further as an individual.”

While Spurs aren’t expected to do much in the way of incoming transfers next month, Sabitzer looks like a primary target for the summer. He’ll be 27 then and could provide quality depth in the midfield, primarily as an 8.

If you’re asking yourself why Mourinho wants to do this when Dele Alli is already in the squad, look no further than the saga that’s been ongoing. Dele appears to be headed for the exit as PSG are about to hire former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino. Dele needs regular playing time and it’s clear he has fallen out of favor. Spurs will probably settle with a loan and option or obligation to buy in the summer, but getting cash now could mean bolstering the squad for the final months of the season.

Going back to Sabitzer, he’s a quality player and has been with Leipzig full time since 2015, making over 200 appearances for the German club. While Sabitzer could cost over £30m in normal circumstances, the Austrian International will have one year left on his contract in the summer. That should help drive the price down for Daniel Levy to work his negotiating magic.

The upcoming windows will be intriguing to watch. Levy has made it clear the club is healthy while the world continues to go through the COVID-19 pandemic, which means the amount of money available for potential transfers will be limited. Sabitzer makes sense as a target on all fronts but Leipzig aren’t going to just roll over and sell for chump change. We’ll see where it goes in the coming months.