Tottenham Hotspur risked a mammoth blunder by selling Serge Aurier to Spartak Moscow on the cheap in a Daniel Levy disasterclass this summer.
While speaking with Sport-Express, via Tribal Football, Spartak Moscow CEO Shamil Gazizov has claimed his Russian Premier League side had agreed a deal with Levy to sign Aurier this summer for £15.5million less than the north London outfit paid Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.
Aurier’s future under Jose Mourinho was enshrined in doubt during the off-season following the arrival of Matt Doherty from Wolves, leading to interest from AC Milan and Bayer Leverkusen in the Ivorian right-back who started 31 of Tottenham’s Premier League games last season.
A move to Italy or Germany failed to materialise, leaving Levy open-minded to a deal with Spartak Moscow that would have seen Spurs net just €8.5m (£7.5m), despite signing Aurier for £23m just three years ago.
Gazizov has now revealed that a move for Aurier to join Domenico Tedesco’s side at the Otkrytie Arena also fell away this summer, as the passing of the 27-year-old’s brother ensured he was not in the right frame of mind to establish himself not only at a new club but also a new country.
“We agreed with Aurier [and] we agreed with Daniel Levy that the transfer can take place for a certain amount of money,” Gazizov said. “It was about 8.5million euros. There were normal negotiations with the player.
“At a certain stage in his life, there were not very good moments connected with his family. He couldn’t have brought his mom and his family here, he lost his brother and dad [so] he decided to stay in England and not make any sudden moves.”
Levy’s blunderous decision to sanction a cut-price deal for Aurier to leave Tottenham for Spartak Moscow would have already come back to bite the north London side this season, with Mourinho now forced to rely on the 63-cap international when Spurs face Manchester City on Saturday following Doherty testing positive for coronavirus.
It will be the third time this term that Mourinho is forced to start Aurier for a top-flight fixture, having turned to the former PSG man against Manchester United and West Ham last month and seen the £14.4m-rated full-back provide a goal and an assist at Old Trafford.
Aurier’s output in that one fixture was instantly more than Doherty has achieved in any competition this season, with the Republic of Ireland international’s assist in Tottenham’s 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion prior to the international break his only contribution in 10 games.
Mourinho can expect Aurier to hit the ground running at home to City on Saturday evening, too, as the Ivorian is not one to hide away from the occasion when his back is up against the wall.
“There are things people don’t see because you don’t show yourself enough,” Aurier told France Football earlier in the year. “The first year [under Mauricio Pochettino], the coach did not make me play a lot, but I never went into his office to complain, I never showed a funny face. I wasn’t playing, I was upset, but I did not show it.”
Aurier now has the chance to put any upset at being behind Doherty in Mourinho’s pecking order to one side and be the Portuguese coach’s saviour, potentially proving for once and for all how Levy risked a mammoth blunder by selling him on the cheap this summer.