Tottenham Hotspur are probably chasing Memphis Depay, but it seems like they're not putting all of their eggs in that basket. There are various reports circulating that Spurs are interested in signing Olympique Marseille winger Florian Thauvin, but Marseille keep saying he's not for sale.
Here's what Vincent Labrune, Marseille's president, said about him on French radio station RMC:
"He is one of the greatest talents of his generation. OM have great hopes for him. I hope this year will be Thauvin's year. He's done the perfect preparation. I'm hoping he will explode."
In light of that, Thauvin has reportedly been offered a new contract, but it hasn't been inked yet. He continues to be linked to a move away from Marseille, and that's going to remain a possibility until he signs that supposedly lucrative new deal.
Thauvin is an extremely talented left-footed winger. At only 21, he played a starring role for a Marseille side that wasn't very strong going forward last season. He scored 9 total goals for L'OM last year, where he played pretty much all across the attacking midfield, though primarily on the right wing. He's quick and agile, but often looked a bit lazy with his defensive efforts. Here's a radar that Ted Knutson did on him:
Florian Thauvin, Marseille 2014. I'm on the fence as to whether he's all hype, but the YAPSS model likes him pic.twitter.com/QZ4VY9lK5x— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) July 9, 2014
Ted's young player model likes him, probably due to him being a shot machine (something Spurs already have in Andros Townsend) and the fact that he dribbles by opposing fullbacks a lot. Given the fullback quality in Ligue 1 though, that's not that impressive. The defensive stats for Thauvin are a little misleading. His OM teams played some pretty negative football during the early part of the year under Elie Baup, so Thauvin often found himself in deep positions marking players. That changed a little after Baup left though and Thauvin seemed to forsake his defensive duties for his attacking ones.
Honestly, it's not surprising if Thauvin wants out of OM. New manager Marcelo Bielsa always requires a high workrate on both ends of the pitch from his players and Thauvin has rarely displayed the desire necessary to fit into the Argentine's system. Add in the petulant, bratty behavior that saw him force a move from Lille to OM last summer before even playing a game for Les Dogues and you've got the ingredients for a prima donna. Thauvin is a great talent, there's no question about that, but it's his attitude that will always be a question mark.
At present, it seems like Tottenham are making inquiries into the availability of a few talented young wingers. More likely than not, they'll sign one of them and ship someone off. I can't imagine Spurs sign two or more of Thauvin and Depay, plus anyone else we end up getting linked to, but it seems like we're in the market for someone in their age, price and talent range.