Oh silly season, once again you’re throwing up ridiculous transfer rumour after ridiculous transfer rumour with apparently no necessity for actual facts.
There’s been plenty of audacious rumours involving Tottenham Hostpur this month, reportedly due to them planning a huge winter clear-out as Mauricio Pochettino begins remodeling the squad in his own image.
And whilst some reports will excite the fan-base, such as an alleged £20million move for Everton’s James McCarthy, others, well, won’t quite so much.
January is always a uniquely chaotic time of year for Premier League clubs however and anything could happen between now and the end of the transfer window.
With that in mind, here’s the FIVE rumoured transfer targets Tottenham should be avoiding at all costs.
With Harry Kane the only Spurs striker to have scored more than two Premier League goals this season, if the Lilywhites are to splash the cash this month it should be on another centre-forward.
One already linked is Fenerbahce assassin Emmanuel Emenike, who was also reported as being on the White Hart Lane radar during the summer. But is the Nigerian international really the calibre of striker Tottenham should be targeting?
He’s blessed with all the pace, brawn and directness one could want in a Premier League striker, but returns of 14 goals in 40 league outings for the Turkish powerhouses, and just eight in 27 for the Super Eagles, hardly suggest a forward that will explode onto North London with a flurry of goals.
For comparison, Didier Drogba (at the ripe old age of 35) bagged 15 in 37 Super Lig outings during his 18 months with Galatasaray.
Aged 27 already, it’s unlikely a move to England will produce a higher performance from Emenike. And although his £8million valuation may sound appealingly cheap, the old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ certainly comes to mind.
Representing the more youthful, expensive and coveted end of the striker spectrum is West Bromwich Albion prodigy Saido Berahino – a January transfer booby-trap of the highest order.
Although the 21 year-old remains one of the brightest prospects in the Premier League, Tony Pulis has made it abundantly clear that he’ll fight tooth and nail to keep him at the Hawthorns this month.
The tabloids are already quoting a £23.5million fee, an outrageous sum for a centre-forward with just 14 Premier League goals under his belt, and with Liverpool also interested, there’s little reason for the Baggies to come down on that seismic valuation – especially amid a bitter-fought relegation dog fight.
Him linking up with fellow England U21 Harry Kane is certainly an exciting prospect, but the Lilywhites would be better off waiting until the end of the season to make such an enormous investment.
Having won three Ukrainian Footballer of the Year awards and two Ukrainian Premier League Player of the Year awards since 2010, Dnipro winger Yevhen Konoplyanaka is widely considered to be one of the biggest talents outside of Europe’s five leading top flights.
The 25 year-old certainly seems like the real deal, gaining huge notoriety for his goal against England at Wembley in 2012 and since continuing to impress in the Europa League, last term netting four goals from eight outings in the continental tournament.
Spurs need some options out wide too, especially amid reports that Aaron Lennon will be sold this January, but with the Ukrainian international’s contract now into its final six months, some pragmatic patience could save the Lilywhites in excess of £7million.
Indeed, instead of splashing the cash on the wantaway wide man, Tottenham should offer him a pre-contract for next season.
Admittedly, that will require holding some nerve – not bidding for Konoplyanka now could result in him joining one of his other suitors, including Liverpool and Inter Milan, instead.
Virgil van Dijk’s sensational form since first joining Celtic in summer 2013, earning him last term’s Player of the Year award at Parkhead, has attracted plenty of interest throughout the Premier League, with Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham all listed as potential suitors.
It’s the Dutchman’s confidence on the ball, combined with his athletic 6 foot 4 frame, that particularly catches the eye, epitomised best by this stunning free kick from last season – one of eight goals Van Dijk has netted in 55 SPL outings.
The 23 year-old’s defensive qualities however, remain a little more suspect. He’s put in some decent European performances but also some absolute shockers, and it speaks volumes that he’s yet to represent the Netherlands at senior level despite their dearth of quality at centre-back.
Celtic have already ruled out a departure this month so it would take a rather unjustifable offer to make them reconsider anyway. But even in the long-term, Van Dijk is a huge gamble the Lilywhites don’t need to take.
Southampton star Jay Rodriguez excelled under Mauricio Pochettino last season, netting 15 times in the Premier League to finish up as the division’s third-top scoring Englishman. Resultantly, it’s believed the Argentine is very keen on bringing his old ally to White Hart Lane, leading to a plethora of speculation throughout the summer.
The 25 year-old certainly showed great promise last year, but he’s still yet to recover from a World Cup ending ACL injury and former Burnley team-mate Sam Vokes has recently admitted that progress remains rather slow.
Not set to return until February at the earliest, it’s unlikely the Lilywhites would have signed the crocked winger-forward this month anyway.
But having now missed almost an entire year of football due to injury, the England international may never rekindle the magic of last season.