Tottenham Hotspur face the prospects of a major rebuilding this offseason, and everyone knows it. Consequently, we have already seen and will continue to see transfer rumors emerging that link Spurs’ best players to other clubs.
Most of those have centered on Harry Kane, about whom many media personalities are already concern-trolling about how he “needs” to leave Spurs. This one’s a little different, because it concerns Korean attacker Son Heung-Min. According to Football Insider, Sonny has emerged as a viable transfer target by Bayern Munich, with the club considering making an approach for him this summer.
First off, the sourcing is pretty garbage. Football Insider does on occasion get stuff right, but they just as often wildly miss the mark, so this should not in any way be an endorsement on the veracity of this rumor. The report relies on the nebulous and ubiquitous “sources.” There are no quotes, just a vague assertion that Bayern could make a move on one of the best wide attackers in Europe while his contract extension talks with Spurs are stalled. I’m not here to tell you that this is a thing that’s going to happen.
But asking the question “is this plausible” is a very different thing. And quite honestly, the answer to that question is yes, maybe. Bayern have no shortage of wide attacking players — Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman, and Thomas Muller can all play wide, and all but Muller are younger than Son, who’s 28. Son also isn’t necessarily the kind of attacker that Bayern usually targets, another reason why this is a bit odd.
On the other hand, Sonny does have experience playing in the Bundesliga for Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen. Sonny’s current contract expires at the end of next season. Unless he signs a new contract at Tottenham, and even if he does, this could represent Spurs’ last opportunity to cash in on him at peak value. It’s not crazy to think they’re at least looking at him.
Tottenham are already in a position, thanks to COVID, where they’ll likely need to finance any incoming players through the sale of current players, and the squad needs a major refresh. It’s not out of the question that a player like Son could command close to £100m. That kind of money could go a long way towards financing a new success cycle in north London.
You’d have to weigh whether Spurs would be, short term, better off with that kind of money or with Son in the team, and that’s a difficult calculus. Still, Spurs are going to have to replace Sonny at some point in the next few years. The question comes down to whether it’s better to do that for a lot of money now or significantly less money later... but another year or two of Son.
Look, this rumor may or may not be true. I’m certainly not sticking my neck out for its accuracy. However, the existence of such a rumor at all points straight at the heart of a lot of issues that Spurs are going to need to grapple with in the short to medium term. There aren’t a lot of clubs that can afford Sonny, but Bayern is one of them. If they come in with a big offer, Spurs are going to have to do some real soul searching about their long-term vision of the future.