Tottenham are beginning to face intense pressure from their arch-rivals Chelsea as the race to secure the signing of want-away Everton midfielder Ross Barkley hots up, the Telegraph reports.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have been linked with the 23-year-old since the start of the summer transfer window, with it believed that chairman Daniel Levy is playing a waiting game for Everton to drop their £50 million price tag for Barkley, but Chelsea are starting to become an increasing threat.
The report claims that Levy is not willing to pay more than £25 million for the England international, thinking that his desire to leave – allied with Koeman’s recent comments – will push the asking price down.
However, it is understood that Chelsea are genuinely considering a bid for Barkley themselves now, with Antonio Conte wanting to bring in another midfield option before the window closes at the end of August.
Meanwhile, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has said that having to play their home matches at Wembley Stadium this season will prove to be a challenge equal to winning the title.
With their new home at White Hart Lane currently under construction until the end of the 2017-18 season at the earliest, Spurs will play their matches at the 90,000-capacity stadium this year.
But speaking to talkSPORT, the Argentine has admitted it’s a big adjustment: “We have a really big challenge this season, because it’s not only to fight with the big clubs to try and win [the title] again, but the other thing is to try and make Wembley our home. That’s a big challenge for us – similar to winning a title.”
“To make Wembley home and change the fans’ perception and feel in the end that Wembley can help us to be better and achieve our dream – it’s a big, big job. But we’re working on that and hopefully in the end everyone will feel that Wembley is our home.”
Spurs didn’t enjoy the best of times at Wembley last year, losing to both Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League before being knocked out of the Europa League by Belgian minnows Gent.
In other news, Tottenham have received a real boost ahead of the new season as The Sun have reported that first-choice right-back Kieran Trippier will only miss up to two weeks through injury.
Boss Pochettino feared the worst when the 26-year-old hobbled off just before half-time in the recent friendly victory over Juventus, with Trippier on the receiving end of two strong Alex Sandro tackles.
The England international went for a scan on Tuesday to reveal the extent of the damage but, according to sources close to The Sun, Tottenham have been told the injury is not as bad as first feared.
Trippier is still set to miss their opening Premier League clash with Newcastle on Sunday but it is possible that he could make a return for the London derby against Chelsea just seven days later.
The 26-year-old – who recently signed a five-year contract extension – is the only recognised right-back at Pochettino’s disposal following Kyle Walker’s recent exit, meaning utility man Eric Dier could fill in.