Many believe that January transfer windows were made for men like Daniel Levy. The reclusive Tottenham Chairman is a notorious transfer wrangler and astute business mind. Under his guidance the club have pulled of their fair share of coups down the years, but equally the club have missed out on deals simply because the man with the money has wanted to save face.
The Premier League clubs summer spree was in the main financed by what many have called the deal of the century; Levy’s sale of Bale to Madrid for a world record fee. Making money on past acquisitions has been central to Levy’s tenure; Carrick, Berbatov and Modric come to mind. But even so is he expecting too much from Napoli over the sale of Capoue?
Capoue isn’t a bad footballer, but it just doesn’t look like it is going to work out for him at Spurs. The Frenchman has been dropped in favour of the ever-impressive Bentaleb and questions over attitude and drive have also come to the fore. For me his stock has neither risen nor fallen in 6 months, and the £9m Spurs paid seems just about decent value for the player even now, something if you believe reports a club like Napoli are happy to pay.
Spurs have a plethora of midfield talent; the fact that the likes of Holtby and Capoue are struggling to get a game just about says it all. Whether the club overbought or not is a separate issue, but clearly moving on the Frenchman is likely to be beneficial for all the parties involved.
Yet the same old stumbling block exists; the infamously profit minded Daniel Levy. For him £9m isn’t a reasonable figure, he wants £12m plus and wont stop until he gets it. The player’s representative, Martha Fischer underlined the frustrations said:
“The problem is not the player or Napoli – Tottenham just want a lot of money. What they’re asking for is absurd. But we are only on January 21, and there is still hope.”
Nothing is simple with Levy, Spurs fans know that better than most, but surely now is the time to just take the money? If Capoue continues to warm the bench his value is only going to be on the slide and with his wages added in it makes so much more sense just to sell now. Napoli’s believed offer is far from derisory, in fact from most peoples perspectives its highly reasonable.
Selling early leaves the club with £9m to reinvest in a striking replacement for the outgoing Jermain Defoe. Levy doesn’t see it like that though, this isn’t a case of getting a deal done early to allow for time to work on incomings, from his perspective there is just over a week to negotiate with Napoli and get the best price possible.
Like all negotiations expect a happy median to be reached eventually, the £10-11m range maybe. Levy may like the look of that extra £1m on the balance sheet, but is it really in the clubs best interest?
It isn’t a huge sum of money in the context of a club like Spurs, but missing out on a preferred striking target could well be the difference between finishing 4th and missing out on Champions League football.
Daniel Levy could well write an excellent book on the art of negotiation, but for me he sometimes misses the bigger picture. Squeezing Napoli in the short term may look like financial sense, but long term it could well just seek to undermine Spurs’ charge to the promised land of Champions League football.