The footballing equivalent of those dreaded celebrity gossip magazines that quote ‘inside sources’ on Kim Kardashian’s alleged argument with her postman, the British tabloids’ constant spewing of fact-less transfer rumours rarely produces a true story.
But every now and then, the odd rumour comes to the surface that appears to have some weight behind it, providing you’re prepared to read between the lines.
And we may be amid the Premier League’s silly season, with the January window now upon us, but there’s a few stories involving Tottenham Hotspur this month that might actually materialise into something genuine.
Just to prove it, here’s FIVE we at Football Fancast are tipping to be the real McCoy.
Despite the recent heroics of Harry Kane, the glaring inadequacies of Tottenham’s strike-force desperately require Daniel Levy and Mauricio Pochettino’s attention this month – especially if the Lilywhites are planning on a late charge for a Champions League spot.
There’s quite a few names in the mix, but rumours linking Spurs with Fenerbahce striker Emmanuel Emenike have been consistent over the last week or so.
Boasting impressive returns of 63 goals in 51 appearances for Karabukaspor, 36 in 42 for Spartak Moscow and 25 in 40 for Fenerbahce however, the 27 year-old has been linked with Chelsea and Liverpool before, who could both revive their interest.
Right now however, the Lilywhites seem to be the front-runners. Despite a £16million release clause, it’s claimed the Turkish side could settle for just £8million.
Having never really hit the heights expected since moving to White Hart Lane for a then-club record £17million in summer 2013, and since been reduced to a bit-part role after some borderline woeful performances at the World Cup, rumours of Paulinho being put up for sale this January will hardly come as a huge surprise to Tottenham fans.
Indeed, the Brazil international scored six league goals last season but has spent the majority of the current campaign on the bench, seemingly ill-fitting to Mauricio Pochettino’s high-pressing philosophy – which is finally starting to take effect. Thus far, he’s seen just 135 minutes in the Premier League.
Spurs need to sell before the 26 year-old’s value further depreciates and according to the tabloids, there are a number of suitors emerging from the woodwork. Brazilian side Cruzeiro have been fairly public about their ambitions to sign Paulinho on loan, but the north Londoners would unquestionably prefer a permanent departure.
In that regard, The Independent claim Inter Milan, Schalke and former club Corinthians could all be interested in the £12million-rated midfielder.
Another midfielder that appears unable to adapt to Mauricio Pochettino’s methods, Mousa Dembele has been issued just three Premier League starts since the Argentine’s arrival in the summer.
The Belgium international’s immense talent remains undoubted – he looked like a world-beater in the making at former club Fulham and has attracted interest from Manchester United and Real Madrid, to name a few, in the past.
But that’s rarely corresponded into immense performances for the Lilywhites and he’s now at his furthest from Spurs’ starting Xi since his £15million arrival in January 2012.
Everton were alleged as potential suitors earlier in the season and could now view Dembele as the ideal signing to end their current malaise. Admittedly however, the rumour has lost traction over the last few months.
It’s not a transfer saga that’s received too much attention this month, but Tottenham’s long-term interest in Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez remains undoubted.
The England international flourished under Mauricio Pochettino’s leadership at St. Mary’s, finishing last term as the Premier League’s third top-scoring Englishman with 15 goals in 33 appearances, despite missing its final two months with an ACL injury.
Pochettino clearly likes the powerful winger-forward’s style and he would address a few problems for the Lilywhites – particularly their lack of depth on the left flank and at centre-forward.
Furthermore, my hunch tells me that the Saints could be prepared to sell; after all, they’re a completely different side now and have excelled in the 25 year-old’s prolonged absence, rising to fourth in the Premier League table.There will be a temptation to cash-in whilst he’s still in demand.
Rodriguez is still struggling with his knee injury according to friend and Burnley striker Sam Vokes however, which could force the Lilywhites into seeking alternatives this month.
Aston Villa contract rebel Fabian Delph has been linked with a number of bigger Premier League clubs over the last few months, most particularly Tottenham and Liverpool.
Spurs desperately need more bodies in the middle of the park if Dembele and Paulinho are to leave as expected, and the 25 year-old shares the gutsy, energetic styles of Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb that Mauricio Pochettino has continually found himself depending on this term – epitomised by the above goal against Chelsea last season.
And it’s been a solid twelve months for the talismanic midfielder, earning the Villain of the Year award at the end of last season and more recently a spot in Roy Hodgson’s England squad, with three caps since his September debut.
He suits Tottenham’s style of play perfectly and with his contract now into its final six months, Mirror Football alleged a £3million offer from the north Londoners earlier this week.
The Express, on the other hand, believe Delph will wait until the summer before deciding upon his next club. Paul Lambert has also recently stated that the England international isn’t for sale.