Christian Eriksen is caught between a rock and a hard place.
The attacking midfielder told Ekstra Bladet in his native Denmark earlier this month that he would like to leave Tottenham Hotspur this summer, citing the need to take on a new challenge.
At the time, it appeared that he would be moving to Real Madrid, following in the footsteps of the likes of Luka Modric and Gareth Bale by swapping north London for the Spanish capital.
Now, though, it seems that Real have been seduced by the idea of signing Paul Pogba from Manchester United instead and Eriksen is in limbo. Manchester United have been linked with an interest but he reportedly has reservations.
While Eriksen will surely be waiting with bated breath to see if he gets his dream move, this does not bode well for the rest of Spurs’ summer.
Indeed, reports claim that a move for Giovani Lo Celso, the Real Betis playmaker, is dependant on moving the 27-year-old on.
If Eriksen can’t leave the club, what hope do the flops in north London have?
Fernando Llorente has already been released and the list of players who could follow him out of the door is lengthy.
Vincent Janssen made just three appearances in the Premier League last season; Georges-Kevin N’Koudou was shipped out on loan in 2018/19 and has never been a first-team regular; Erik Lamela remains an enigma; Kieran Trippier has been linked with a move to Serie A after a nightmare season; Danny Rose has said that he could leave, while Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier are both said to be expendable.
This is a problem.
Spurs’ summer now seems to be predicated on the idea of bringing in funds from those on the fringes of the XI, particularly after the club broke their transfer record to secure Ndombele.
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Yet Levy can’t even sell Eriksen, a first-team star who scored 10 goals and provided 17 assists last season. He is an elite player who has played at the highest level for years.
That cannot be said for Janssen or N’Koudou so what hope does Levy have of shipping them off?
Indeed, one feels that he will have to compromise his own principles to get these deals done.
He is, of course, renowned for being a hardened negotiator, but he may have to simply accept reduced fees for players who are unlikely to receive all that many offers.
He is already said to have scared away Napoli in their bid to sign Trippier because of his transfer demands.
For the sake of Spurs’ summer, he will have to compromise and then wait by the phone.