We don’t know much about what Tottenham Hotspur’s January transfer window will look like, but we think we know the general approach — Spurs and Fabio Paratici are interested in a left-footed defender, a striker, and a right sided wing back. That last option likely means that they’re looking to upgrade on Matt Doherty, who has been used only sparingly under Antonio Conte this season.
So it should be no surprise to see this rumor escape the wilds of Bat Country — according to an “exclusive” in Football Insider, Wolves have made a bid to re-sign Doherty in January, offering him an escape hatch from Tottenham purgatory via a return to his old club.
EXCLUSIVE!— Football Insider (@footyinsider247) January 4, 2022
- Wolves have submitted a bid for Tottenham star Matt Doherty as they look to re-sign him this month. ⚫️
- Spurs willing to listen to offers. Permanent & loan-to-buy options being discussed. https://t.co/royU3mO9Qt#thfc #coys #WolvesFC #wwfc pic.twitter.com/EC2ASXlomP
So I would never call Football Insider a top tier source (or even necessarily a “reliable” one) but this does seem absolutely plausible. For starters, while there undoubtedly isn’t much of a market for Doherty based on his performances in a Spurs shirt, we know that he had the best stretch of his career at Wolves. Nuno Espirito Santo has moved on, of course, but it’s not crazy to think that he could be an attractive option for a Wolves return. Tottenham incredibly paid £16m for Doherty at the beginning of last summer; the article doesn’t reference how large a bid Wolves may have made or whether Spurs are willing to take a haircut to get Doherty off the books.
But more than that, what convinces me there could be something here is Doherty’s agent, Jorge Mendes. Wolves manager Bruno Lage is also a Mendes client, and the whole Wolves club is pretty inextricably tied up with the superagent (probably to their overall detriment, but whatever). It’s not at all crazy to suggest that Mendes is trying to make a deal to send a Mendes client to a club with deep ties to Mendes. Feels pretty sketchy, but that’s football for you and could work out in Tottenham’s favor.
Right wing back is pretty clearly the most obvious place where Paratici and Tottenham could upgrade the squad in January, but part of that process is finding a new club for Doherty. We’ll keep our ears to the grindstone to see whether this rumor catches any traction with the more mainstream rumormongers of the British football media ecosystem.