Tottenham’s transfer window may have already reached its apex but the Londoners are expected to add further to their squad.
The record signing of Tanguy Ndombele, the club’s first acquisition since Lucas Moura’s arrival in January 2018, has functioned as a signal of intent from Spurs. No longer willing to watch their rivals beat them to trophies by spending big, Tottenham are attempting to create a level playing ground.
They have also signed Jack Clarke from Leeds United, although the 18-year-old has returned to West Yorkshire on loan for the season. Mauricio Pochettino will now be keen to bring in players who can make an immediate impact.
With so much speculation and chatter, it’s easy to get confused as to where all of the links are coming from. So we’ve looked at a few different sources and picked out the transfer possibilities Spurs are expected to explore in the coming weeks.
What the manager wants
In truth, Pochettino has already received what he truly wanted: a new central midfielder who can transition Tottenham from defence to attack. The Spurs boss was apparently instrumental in convincing Ndombele to join the club, and the fact the deal was done quickly shows the club is ready to back Pochettino.
But while he will be pleased with Ndombele’s arrival, Pochettino will be keen to add more. In fitting with his character, the Argentinian hasn’t named any specific targets, but before last month’s Champions League final he urged the club to give him “tools” similar to those at the disposal of Manchester City and Liverpool.
He said: “If we believe that if we operate in the same way that we have operated in the last five years we are going to be every season in the final of the Champions League, and in the top four and competing against projects like Liverpool or Manchester City or Manchester United, I think we are very naive.
“If you want to expect the same from Liverpool, from Manchester City or Manchester United and Chelsea, and you put the same expectation on Tottenham, give me different tools to work. If not, I see the people working in the same way, in the future I’m going to be this guy. I am the most stupid person to work.”
Ndombele is tangible proof that Spurs listened to Pochettino’s pleas. However, his respectful nature – personified by a refusal to talk about players employed by other clubs – means we won’t discover who else he wants until those signings come through the door.
The view from the press box
With Pochettino unwilling to divulge specific targets, the press have been busy speculating who Tottenham are interested in signing. And most reliable sources believe Ryan Sessegnon is chief among the club’s targets.
BBC Sport’s David Ornstein claims Sessegnon is keen to join Spurs. The teenager has just one year left on his Fulham contract and is expected to depart Craven Cottage this summer. Sky Sports believes Tottenham are being patient in their pursuit, but all signs point towards a deal going through before the window closes.
A move for Sessegnon is made more likely by the fact Danny Rose appears to be on his way out of Spurs, who revealed the left-back has not travelled with his teammates for the pre-season tour of Asia as he is “exploring possibilities” with other clubs. Ben Davies signed a new deal this month but will need competition – Sessegnon’s potential makes him ideal.
Rose isn’t the only full-back being linked with the exit door; Kieran Trippier has already gone through it, joining Atletico Madrid. Tottenham could target a replacement – reports in Italy have suggested Napoli’s Elseid Hysaj and Roma’s Allesandro Florenzi – but Pochettino could opt instead to rotate Serge Aurier, Kyle Walker-Peters and Juan Foyth.
Arsenal are said to leading the race to sign Saint-Etienne starlet William Saliba despite Spurs’ efforts to hijack the deal, while Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos is also expected to pick the Gunners over Tottenham. Talk of a deal for Real Betis’ Giovanni Lo Celso has gone quiet but could re-circulate in the coming weeks.
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What’s on offer?
Sky Sports claims Atletico Madrid offered Argentinian striker Angel Correa to Tottenham during the discussions over Trippier. Spurs will surely be on the lookout for a new striker with Fernando Llorente having left when his contract expired in June. Correa would have to settle for a lot of time on the bench, though.
Therein lies the issue with Tottenham’s pursuit of a striker; whoever comes in will inevitably play second fiddle to Harry Kane. That said, the 25-year-old’s ankle troubles could open up a gap for an incoming centre-forward to play semi-regularly, and Spurs may be aiming to rest their talisman more often this term.
Correa scored just five goals across all competitions last season, which will raise questions about his suitability for Tottenham. What’s more, Pochettino might be happy for Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura to provide cover through the middle given their goalscoring exploits in 2018/19.
Much of what Spurs achieve before the transfer window closes could depend on who leaves the club. As mentioned above, Danny Rose has been given the opportunity to depart, while Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld are both unlikely to sign new contracts.
Eriksen has been linked with Real Madrid, though there is chance he will stay if the La Liga giants cannot afford him. If the Dane leaves, Tottenham should go back in for Lo Celso – if Betis are willing to accept an offer less than his reported £88m release clause.
Sessegnon will almost certainly replace Rose, but Pochettino could put faith in Walker-Peters to fill in for Trippier at right-back. A new centre-back will only come in if Alderweireld departs, which might explain why Tottenham aren’t being intensively linked with anybody in that position – yet.
The Italian media has suggested Spurs may use Alderweireld in an attempt to sign Roma attacking midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo. Roma have been credited with an interest in Alderweireld, and Zaniolo would be a welcome addition to Tottenham’s attack.
Bale reunion unlikely
While Spurs appear to be working hard to fill key gaps in the squad, they have been urged to make one more prestige attacking signing. Spanish outlet Marca claims the Londoners are interesting in bringing Gareth Bale back to White Hart Lane, and despite the Welshman’s agent denying the speculation, former Tottenham boss has Harry Redknapp has talked up the potential transfer.
“It seems a typical Daniel [Levy] deal, [with Real Madrid] paying half the wages,” Redknapp told talkSPORT. “When Daniel’s got you in a corner he’s not going to let you out, and so he’s going to go in and make a very low offer – which is go in with half his wages and a third of the offer they paid for him.
“I think he’d be a fantastic signing, he’s an amazing talent and could come back and push higher next year and make a massive difference.”
Even if Spurs are tempted, a reunion with Bale seems unrealistic at this stage. Barnett labeled the links “rubbish”, and half of his wages would still be costly to the Londoners, who are probably better served looking at cheaper, younger options than fan favourite Bale, regardless of how romantic Redknapp makes the prospect sound.