Tottenham Hotspur are among the front-runners to land Lucas Vazquez this summer, according to reports…
The 29-year-old is out-of-contract at Madrid at the end of the current campaign and looks likely to leave the Bernabeu, having rejected the fresh terms offered by the La Liga giants, as per Mundo Deportivo (via Sport Witness).
They claim that the £13.5m-rated star is already among their lowest-paid players – though £115k-per-week may say otherwise – and would not be prepared to take a 10% wage cut. It is also thought that Vazquez wants a long-term deal with a team in the Champions League.
Given only Spurs and arch-rivals Arsenal are mentioned in the report, it certainly seems like the Lilywhites have an advantage, with them sitting three places and six points ahead of their north London counterparts.
Vazquez is a winger by trade but has been utilised more frequently at right-back by Zinedine Zidane, which will have undoubtedly piqued Jose Mourinho’s interest given his continual struggles in the role.
Summer signing Matt Doherty has failed to reach expectations since his £15m move from Wolves.
According to ESPN last month, the Spurs boss is far from happy with the 29-year-old’s form, so much so that if it doesn’t improve in the coming months, he could well make the defender available for transfer after just a year at the club.
The report explains how Mourinho was berating him all game from the sidelines against Liverpool, just a few matches after a needless red card against Leeds United, and he’s done himself no favours since after dropping a diasterclass in the north London derby defeat.
Wolves are thought to be seen on re-signing him, so you’d imagine if Spurs were to bolster the position once again this summer, through the arrival of Vazquez, then the Irishman is probably going to face the chop – you certainly couldn’t have three potential first-team starters for one right-back spot.
Despite the uncertainty over his future in the Spanish capital, Zidane has still trusted him to start regularly. “What he’s doing right now doesn’t surprise us. Not only do I like him, we all like him because he is always on the job and reliable. He always gives everything on the pitch,” lauded the Frenchman.
20 of his 31 appearances have come at right-back, where he has delivered six assists, compared to just the one when deployed in his natural wing position.
Similarly, Vazquez has displayed strong attributes defensively and has shown an excellent reading of the game having averaged 2.3 tackles and 0.8 interceptions, via WhoScored.
Throw in 1.9 key passes and 1.4 dribbles per game, and you get a pretty all-rounded full-back capable of contributing at either end of the pitch.
Whereas Doherty, having come from a wing-back system at Wolves, has struggled defensively managing fewer tackles (1.5) than the Madrid ace and the third-highest number of fouls per match (1.3).
Considering Spurs can nab him on a free transfer this summer, it would certainly be a bargain swoop from Daniel Levy.
AND in other news, Terry 2.0: £11m beast could be the answer to Jose Mourinho’s biggest problem…