In the end, the north London side brought in just the one out of the aforementioned trio, with Ndombele’s arrival proving to be a club-record one.
But having seen their names being thrown into the hat for the chance to sign the likes of Dybala and Coutinho, there may have been a sense of regret that Spurs couldn’t pull off another significant marquee signing.
And according to a report from Spanish publication Sport, Spurs bid for Coutinho last August, “but a favourable agreement could not be reached between all parties”. That may rankle with Spurs fans, but considering how the season has panned out for the Brazilian, they should be patting themselves on the back for a lucky escape.
On loan at Bundesliga side Bayern Munich this campaign, the £63m-rated star has had a largely indifferent time. His tally of nine goals in 32 games across all competitions is the exact same number of times Dele Alli has found the back of the net for Spurs.
Whilst Coutinho has had his flashes of brilliance – he scored a hat-trick and provided two assists in the same game against Werder Bremen in the German top-flight – it has been a tale of frustrating inconsistency for the former Liverpool talisman. Before the postponement of all football, the 27-year-old had scored just twice in his last nine Bundesliga games, providing just one assist too.
And with a player of his calibre, the wages would have been astronomical too, and would have thrown Spurs’ structure out-of-kilter. The fact is, Coutinho hasn’t shown anything like the kind of form at Bayern that would have warranted him being arguably the highest-paid star on the Lilywhites’ book, even if it was just on a season-long loan.
Alli has produced the same output in terms of finding the back of the net, and is earning £100k-a-week. Coutinho’s performances have proven that Spurs dodged a major bullet last summer.