The acquisition of Pierre-Emilie Hojbjerg isn’t the only business Tottenham Hotspur is planning on doing in this shortened summer between Premier League seasons. Right back is also a concern, and perhaps weirdly enough, it looks like their starting (and really, only) current right back — Serge Aurier — is on the transfer list.
The English media has been pretty mum on this story, so we turn to the Italian tabloids, with no small amount of trepidation. Corriere dello Sport is reporting that Aurier is a high-priority target for Serie A giants AC Milan... and that Serge wants to go.
Before we get too excited, it’s important to keep something in mind. Importantly, this is coming straight from the Italian side of negotiations, and there are two sides to every story. I would never accuse Corriere dello Sport of being unimpeachable paragons of sports reporting, but when it comes to clubs like the Milans and Juventus, they occasionally have the goods, or at least a good line into that side of the negotiations.
So what does Corriere dello Sport actually say? Well, you can run the linked article above through the Google machine if you want, but the gist is that Serge is pretty darned interested in moving to Italy, and considers it a “suitable solution to his career,” but that negotiations are nowhere close to being complete. According to the report, Spurs are asking for €22-23m (~£20m), and Milan are hoping to snatch him up at a lower price. They do mention, however, that the club is expected to continue to talk to Aurier’s entourage to see if the club has softened its stance at all.
Let’s say for a second that Serge does move to Milan. If £20m is the price, then it’s possible that Aurier could realistically move on for somewhere in the realm of £16-18m plus the requisite Daniel Levy add-ons. That would also put Spurs in the situation where they’d probably have to buy two right backs this summer — an established starter and perhaps a flier or youngster with room to develop. There’s not a lot of time left before the season kicks off, and the list of available right backs isn’t exactly long or especially great. However, there’s probably a while yet to wait before we know whether Aurier moving on is something Spurs will need to plan for, or if Milan will decide that they don’t really want to deal with Daniel Levy and move on to other targets.