Tottenham Hotspur want to beat Everton to the signing of Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes this summer, according to reports.
The claims came at the same time as another story noting Spurs’ willingness to listen to offers for 12 first-team players before the start of next season.
Indeed, it appears Mauricio Pochettino is planning a huge overhaul of his squad as Tottenham look set to bring in new players for the first time in over a year.
Spurs haven’t signed anyone since Lucas Moura arrived from Paris Saint-Germain in January last year, but it is believed they are willing to spend this summer.
However, to do so, the Londoners may have to part ways with several players in order to raise funds.
But which first-team squad members could Tottenham be willing to sell? And which positions – other than central midfield, if the Gomes reports are to be believed – are the club looking at strengthening in?
Which Spurs players are reportedly up for sale?
According to the Evening Standard, Spurs will listen to offers for several players this summer for a number of different reasons.
Toby Alderweireld has a £25m release clause which can triggered, so the club has no choice but to accept bids of that value. Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen also have just one year remaining on their respective contracts, though Tottenham will most likely attempt to agree extensions.
Kieran Trippier and Serge Aurier have both struggled to convince supporters they are worthy of starting berths and could be sold, while fringe players such as Vincent Janssen, Fernando Llorente, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and Victor Wanyama will not really be missed.
Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko are perhaps the surprise names mentioned, although Rose has been linked with an exit plenty of times in the past and Sissoko will turn 30 this summer. Erik Lamela, who is far from a guaranteed starter, is the final player cited in the report.
However, the Standard do point out that it is unlikely all 12 will leave, and Spurs aren’t actively trying to sanction the sale of every player mentioned; rather, the club will assess any offers they receive.
Why do Spurs want Andre Gomes?
Central midfield has proven to be the biggest issue in Tottenham’s squad this season, something the club should have rectified last summer but failed to do so.
While Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko have performed admirably in the middle of the park throughout the campaign, Pochettino will know upgrades are needed if Spurs are to seriously challenge for major trophies. At the very least, adding depth by bringing in players of a similar quality to Winks and Sissoko is an absolute must.
Eric Dier has missed stretches of the campaign through injury and illness, and his performances when available have been subpar. Meanwhile, Mousa Dembele – his fitness no longer manageable – was sold to China in January and Victor Wanyama’s knee problems have all-but ended his Tottenham career.
For those reasons, Spurs are desperate for a new central midfielder and it looks as if they could turn to a player they’ve targeted in the past, according to the Telegraph.
Andre Gomes has impressed on loan at Everton and is said to be available for £30m this summer – a relatively low price in today’s market. The Portuguese would add more control to Tottenham’s possession while providing Pochettino with another much-needed option in midfield.
Gomes has been dispossessed just 2.3 times per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season, with Idrissa Gueye (1) the only regular non-centre-back at the club to have bettered him in that regard. His strength and composure on the ball makes Gomes a nightmare to tackle or win the ball back from.
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Which other positions do Spurs need to strengthen in?
Once central midfield is bolstered, Pochettino needs to focus on sorting out the right-back situation. If both Trippier and Aurier are allowed to leave, Kyle Walker-Peters will be the only remaining right-sided full-back in the senior squad.
A section of the Tottenham support have been calling for Walker-Peters to be given more minutes for some time. The exits of Trippier and Aurier would allow for that, but Spurs have really lacked a top-quality option on the right since Kyle Walker’s exit.
With that in mind, the Telegraph suggests Crystal Palace starlet Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a Spurs target. It would be quite the coup if Spurs could lure the 21-year-old to north London ahead of their top six rivals.
Centre-back is also a priority given that there is seemingly no way to prevent Alderweireld’s exit. It remains to be seen whether Tottenham will spend big to acquire a player close to the level of Alderweireld, or put their faith in 21-year-old Juan Foyth to bring a youthful edge to the back line.
Even if Foyth is handed more game-time, a new centre-back should be on Pochettino’s shortlist. The club may also be looking at a new deputy for Harry Kane up front and some added creativity in attacking midfield, particularly if Eriksen departs.
Spurs could also do with upgrading at left-back, although that’s likely to be a low-priority concern if Rose and Ben Davies stick around.