Mauricio Pochettino may well be using his Southampton connections to beat Liverpool to Dejan Lovren, if reports are to be believed. The Croatian World Cup star was one of the Argentine’s top performers last term, and despite the Reds being able to offer him Champions League action, Spurs are confident that a £15m offer will be enough to persuade the 24-year-old to swap leafy Hampshire for north London.
But with the Lilywhites aiming for a top four finish, just one new signing is unlikely to be enough with all of the teams that finished above them last season aiming to strengthen and Manchester United unlikely to further their tag as a sleeping giant.
Even though Andre Villas-Boas blew the Gareth Bale windfall on a number of frustrating (rubbish?) buys, Pochettino is set to have cash to burn, and targets are already stacking up. Here are six players we think are potential candidates to accompany Lovren to White Hart Lane…
With Southampton being picked apart like a carcass on the hot savannas of Africa, a number of their star men are likely to move on. Like Lovren, ‘J-Rod’ was one of Pochettino’s trusted soldiers last term, and he thrived with regular playing time as part of an all-English front three alongside Lallana and Lambert.
A World Cup berth looked to be on the cards until a serious knee injury curtailed his hopes, but reports suggest that Rodriguez will be fit in time for next season. Spurs have been linked with an offer for the versatile attacker, which may end in success with the player himself likely to consider his future if more star names leave the South Coast.
Oh and he netted against the Lilywhites last season…
One transfer battle Spurs look set to lose this summer is keeping Hugo Lloris at the club. The France captain has openly stated his intentions to play in the Champions League, which has been met with interest from clubs such as PSG and Monaco in his homeland. The Ligue 1 heavyweights can offer the sort of cash few clubs on the planet can present, which will be tough for one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers to resist.
In the event he does head off, Krul has been mooted as a replacement. The Dutchman missed out on a World Cup berth and is understood to now be considering his options amid fears that Newcastle cannot offer him the platform he needs to be a Holland regular. £10m may be enough to nab him, which would be a good price for one of English football’s more reliable stoppers.
He also pout in one of the best performances of the season against Spurs lasts season…
Another annual Liverpool vs. Tottenham transfer tussle looks to be taking shape over Lallana. The Southampton captain was the Saints’ star man last term, and has already been the subject of multiple big money offers from the Reds.
But with the South Coast club holding firm in their £30m valuation, the Merseysiders appear to be backing off in favour of the more cost-effective Xherdan Shaqiri. With Lallana having been one of Poch’s ever-presents last term, the South American could be open to matching his old employers’ demands, and the 26-year-old himself might be tempted by a switch to a higher-profile club to maintain his role in the England set-up.
Every World Cup throws up a ‘hot young talent’, and this season it looks like Depay may well be the name on everyone’s lips. Aside from having a cool name (come on, he does!), the 20-year-old has a silky set of skills at his disposal and an eye for goal – as has been proven by his two strikes in Brazil.
PSV Eindhoven are thought to be willing to sell for around £17m, which really is a good price for a player who has been dubbed the ‘new Cristiano Ronaldo’. Man United are also keen, but Spurs hold the upper hand thanks to their Europa League berth.
Aside from Jose Mourinho, it seems that everyone with a functioning set of eyes and access to a TV noticed just how good Lukaku was last season. The tank-like forward plundered goal after goal during his Everton loan stint, almost doing enough to hand the Toffees the most unlikely of top four finishes.
It is understood that the youngster is not looking to return to Merseyside as he plots to play for a ‘bigger side’, but Chelsea are thought to be reluctant to bring him back. Offers of around £20m-£30m are expected to be listened to in west London, which could be tempting for Pochettino as he searches for a more reliable striker than Emmanuel Adebayor.
Why not? ‘Mad Mario’ looks set to leave AC Milan after the World Cup, and with Arsenal having ruled themselves out of the battle, Tottenhem could profit. The crazy Italian has already starred in the Premier League for Manchester City, and despite his lunacy off of the pitch his talent is clear.
£29m is likely to be enough to get him away from the San Siro and Balotelli has already hinted that returning to England appeals to him. Could he be the player Spurs need? Maybe.
He may even do something like this again!