In Focus: Tottenham unlikely to pay £22m for Demarai Gray

According to reports in The Mirror, Tottenham Hotspur have turned down the chance to sign Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez this summer, but they are keen on his Foxes teammate Demarai Gray, who has become frustrated at his lack of first team starts and has a release clause of £22m.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Mahrez is keen to leave the King Power Stadium and has attracted interest from Chelsea and Arsenal, but The Mirror states that Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has decided against bidding for the Algeria international as he wants Gray instead.

The Argentine is a long-term admirer of the 20-year-old winger but he has been put off by the potential £22m fee, considering the former Birmingham City man hasn’t been a first team regular during his time in the east Midlands.

How did Gray do this season?

The wide man scored three goals and provided a further six assists in 43 appearances in all competitions, with most of those coming from the substitutes’ bench.

That is something that has frustrated Gray, especially considering Leicester failed to hit the heights they did as they won the Premier League title in the 2015/16 campaign, and he could look to leave this summer in search of more regular playing time.

His only top flight goal of the season was one to remember though, as he smashed a 30-yard effort into the top corner at Old Trafford in September.

Would he be a good signing for Tottenham?

For some outsiders – and possibly Leicester fans too – it seems to be a little bit of a mystery why the 20-year-old hasn’t been handed more starts for the Foxes.

He seems to usually make an impact when he does come off the bench, and perhaps he would benefit from more playing time elsewhere.

With the likes of Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min, it’s difficult to see that coming at Tottenham.

However, he could certainly make an impression when he is given an opportunity because of the pure volume of matches throughout the busy campaign.

What’s the verdict, then?

Well, Leicester seem unlikely to let Gray leave for anything less than the £22m release clause and if Tottenham refuse to pay it, it puts any deal in doubt.

In addition, Riyad Mahrez’s exit may actually give the 20-year-old winger the regular time on the pitch he is craving, meaning he is less likely to want to leave the Foxes.