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Tottenham have a summer forward wish-list, and it’s long

According to Football.London, Spurs are targeting a backup to Harry Kane, and they’re setting their sights high.

Soccer, italian Serie A: SSC Napoli vs Genoa CFC
Napoli’s Victor Osimhen is one of the targets on Spurs’ summer wishlist.
Photo by Cesare Purini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Get ready for an absolutely bonkers summer of Tottenham Hotspur transfer rumors. With the club on the verge [Ed: NOPE NOT A JINX STOP IT] of clinching Champions League football for the first time since 2018-19 and the club angling itself to back manager Antonio Conte with the funds for a squad refresh, the question is how many names Spurs are going to be linked with in the transfer window.

For the first time this spring I started compiling a spreadsheet of players Tottenham has been at least nominally linked to in the footballing media. It’s already up to 65 names, and Alasdair Gold just added a few more to the list. Writing in Football.London today, Gold gave what amounts to a transfer rumor roundup, with a particular focus on the backup forward position.

While Gold appears to pour cold water on yesterday’s (supposedly reliable!) news connecting Spurs with a free agent move for Juventus’ Paulo Dybala, he noted that one of Spurs’ priorities is identifying and signing a rotation and backup option to Harry Kane. Among those Gold identifies as being on Tottenham’s wish-list are:

  • Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
  • Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
  • Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)
  • Aleksander Isak (Real Sociedad)
  • Darwin Nuñez (Benfica)
  • Patrik Schick (Bayer Leverkusen)
  • Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
  • Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest)

That’s quite a list! Some of it is surely contextual — I have a feeling there are players that won’t take a good look at Spurs until they clinch Champions League football for real and true, and it’s also not at all clear which players have reciprocal interest and which are just players Spurs admire. But there are some really good players there.

Notable is the presence of Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus, who is likely to leave the club this summer and who has been very closely linked with Arsenal already this spring; City reportedly quoted a £55m price to the Gunners, which does feel like a lot. Still it would be pretty hilarious if Spurs were to nab Jesus from under their arch-rivals’ noses this summer.

Elsewhere, Victor Osimhen has been a name that has been linked with a move to a major club for years now; Spurs have had a long-term interest in him dating back to his years in Ligue 1, though he would now be pretty expensive. We already know of Conte and Fabio Paratici’s interest in Inter’s Lautaro Martinez, and a deal to bring him in last summer was scuttled after Chelsea spent £100m to sign Romelu Lukaku. Calvert-Lewin is an unsurprising inclusion and a known commodity; he’s played well for Everton and with the Toffees still in danger of being relegated, it’s possible he could be available in the post-drop fire sale.

Tottenham were reportedly tracking Alexander Isak last summer after he scored 17 goals as a 21-year old in 2020-21. This season his numbers have trailed off considerably, but he’s still considered a young striker with a big future. Darwin Nuñez is probably on everyone’s shortlist after netting 34 goals this season for Benfica; his situation is likely going to... evolve... multiple times over the course of the summer. Czech international Schick has 24 goals in the Bundesliga this season for Bayer Leverkusen and is tipped for a move somewhere when the window opens.

Brennan Johnson is also interesting — the Nottingham Forest striker has 16 goals and 10 assists in the Championship this season and has led Forest to the promotion playoff final against Huddersfield on May 29. He’s only 20 years old and it’s not known how well or if his game can be adapted to the highest level of the Premier League, but he’s an intriguing option as a backup, especially with Spurs confirmed to be playing in Europe next season.

We’ll know a lot more about what kind of striker targets Tottenham will be able to go for after Sunday’s match at Norwich City. That’s also almost certainly not the full list of Tottenham’s targets; Paratici might be also looking at some other versatile wide attackers who can fill in at striker instead of an outright No. 9. But that’s a pretty encouraging list. Buckle up, it’s shaping up to be quite a ride this summer.