Zinedine Zidane has demanded that Real Madrid complete the signing of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen this summer, according to El Confidencial.
The Frenchman returned to the Santiago Bernabeu hotseat earlier this month and is already beginning to plan for the summer.
Eriksen has thus far spurned Tottenham’s advances to pin him down to a new contract.
His current deal expires at the end of next season, with Mauricio Pochettino’s men running the risk of potentially losing him on a free once the 2019-20 campaign draws to a close.
The London Evening Standard reported in January that the Denmark international was stalling in contract negotiations; he is said to have been offered at least £150,000-per-week, a significant increase on his current £70,000-per-week wages.
El Confidencial state that Los Blancos are keen to sign a playmaker this summer, with Eriksen the target.
Indeed, they claim that “if nothing changes” he will move to the Spanish capital, having been hand-picked by Zidane as a potential reinforcement.
The 27-year-old has scored seven goals and laid on 12 assists thus far this season.
It appears inevitable that Eriksen will leave Spurs this summer.
He has thus far shown no signs of wanting to extend his stay at the club and it is not every day that Real come knocking.
Manager Pochettino has the perfect opportunity, then, to put in place a succession plan this season involving Harry Winks.
Winks has regularly played as a deeper central midfield player but has the attributes required to play more advanced; he is deceptively strong, a fine passer of the ball and offers the vision to split defences. Perhaps his one flaw is his lack of goals but that can come with time.
Former Southampton and England star Matt Le Tissier has expressed his doubts that Winks could play in a forward role, writing on Twitter: “(Winks) does the simple things well but too often when he attempts something with a larger degree of difficulty he can’t do it, plenty of time to improve on that tho (sic) as still very young and inexperienced.
Asked to pin down what he struggles with, he added: “Long-range passing and shots at goal. As I said he’s young and got time to improve on those things, not being disingenuous at all.”
The 23-year-old will need to make some tweaks to his game and he will never be a carbon copy of Eriksen. But in terms of orchestrating play and creating chances, he has the potential to fill the void.
With Eriksen seemingly certain to move on, he has the perfect opportunity to prove Le Tissier wrong and ensure that Pochettino does not need to dip into the transfer market to replace the Dane.