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Tottenham Hotspur

Signing Ademola Lookman would represent massive Daniel Levy coup over Paul Mitchell

Tottenham Hotspur are said to be in the race for Ademola Lookman.

Mathew Nash

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Tottenham Hotspur are interested in signing Everton’s young attacker Ademola Lookman, according to reports. The Daily Mirror suggested this week (transfer live blog, 05/06/18, 13:16) that the talented forward is being tracked by both Spurs and Southampton.

His future at Everton is in serious doubt. Despite impressing fans since his January 2017 move from Charlton Athletic it has not been easy for him at Goodison Park. Signed for a fee in the region of £11 million he pushed through a loan spell at RB Leipzig in January this year after failing to receive regular first-team football at the club.

It turned out to be a brilliant move for the player, who bagged five goals and four assists in 11 games for the German side, leading some to call for his inclusion in England’s World Cup squad.

Tottenham would definitely find a place for him in their squad and have wanted him in the past. The man who wanted him then wants him again this summer. But, on this occasion, he is, in fact, Tottenham’s main rival.

(Photo credit should read ROBERT MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images)

In 2016 Tottenham’s then head of recruitment Paul Mitchell was trying to bring the youngster to Spurs. Now, two years later, he is trying to sign him permanently for RB Leipzig.

Mitchell is now in a similar role to the one had at Spurs with the Bundesliga club and securing a permanent transfer for the 20-year-old is a priority.

Of course, Mitchell’s departure from Tottenham was not smooth. As reported by the Guardian the recruitment chief had reportedly fallen out with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy. Tottenham were not pleased when he decided to resign and held him to a lengthy notice period at White Hart Lane.

He finally did move on and now it appears he will be a major rival in the hunt for Lookman this summer.

Both he and Levy would undoubtedly enjoy it if they can get one over on the other this summer. It could be that Lookman and Everton might be the battleground.

Tottenham Hotspur

Rumours linking Tottenham’s Kieran Trippier with Real Madrid way off the mark

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Photo: Getty Images.

Transfer season always brings about some bizarre speculation and rumours, yet perhaps the most ridiculous of all this summer involves Tottenham defender Kieran Trippier.

The England international was one of the Three Lions’ best performers in Russia at the World Cup and caught the eye, particularly with his impressive free-kick goal in the semi-final against Croatia.

Now The Sun report that he is subject to interest from Real Madrid who are pondering a £50 million move.

However, they could not be further than the truth. Julen Lopetegui’s squad was already strong at right-back having Spain international duo Dani Carvajal and Nacho, both of whom featured at the World Cup and they’ve since added £31 million signing Alvaro Odriozola from Real Sociedad.

(<> on February 28, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.

That signing of Spain’s third choice full-back led to the decision to loan youngster Achraf Hakimi to Borussia Dortmund for two years as Lopetegui was unconvinced that he would get regular game time which he needs at this stage in his career.

With the club also desperately seeking to replace Cristiano Ronaldo with a marquee signing, which won’t come cheap, it seems ludicrous to suggest that they would contemplate spending £50 million on a fifth right-back.

The Sun justify their claims with a bizarre suggestion, purely based on the fact that Trippier shares an agent with the same company that include Jonathan Barnett, Gareth Bale’s agent. That being the man who has frequently spoken out to demand more game time for his client and hardly endeared himself to the powers that be at the Bernabeu.

“Trippier, though, is represented by the Stellar Group — the firm headed by Jonathan Barnett, which negotiated Gareth Bale’s then world-record £86m transfer to the Bernabeu from Tottenham back in 2013.”

The Sun’s explanation of the rumour.

On reflection, it is clear that there is no substance to such a suggestion and seems likely that Tottenham fans have very little to worry about.

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Crystal Palace

The media obsession with Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha should be ignored

The winger is being heavily linked with a move away from Selhurst Park.

Max Cohen

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Wilfried Zaha
Photo: Getty Images

Ask any Crystal Palace fan their least favourite part of the summer, and one answer will stand out: the endless media obsession about the future of Wilfried Zaha.

After further reports in The Times, Mirror, and The Sun linking the Ivory Coast international with a move away from Selhurst Park, Palace supporters should tune out the noise and focus on the facts of the matter.

Zaha is currently under contract at Selhurst Park, having signed a five-year deal just over a year ago. Despite the rumoured interest from the likes of Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, and Borussia Dortmund, Crystal Palace hold all the cards in the situation.

And, to add to their strong position, manager Roy Hodgson has made it very clear he has no intention of selling the winger when speaking to football.london last week:

“What people seem to forget with Wilf is he has got a four-year contract. There is speculation every year around Messi and Ronaldo too. He is our player for the next four years and the club has got no interest or desire to sell him.”

(during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion at Selhurst Park on May 13, 2018 in London, England.

This strong statement from the Palace manager is the only thing that holds significance with regards to the Zaha saga. At the end of the day, there can be as much speculation and interest from clubs as possible, but if the club is not willing to sell then the player will stay put.

Additionally, the reports that Zaha is unsettled at Palace seem like nothing more than sensational claims. This is a player who expressed his love for the fans and the club as recently as April, talking to the Eagles’ official website after a win against Brighton.

“Crystal Palace is my home town and the support we have here is genuine support with families watching with their kids loving us as players so I don’t really see myself anywhere else.”

In all, one must focus on what is relevant in the Wilfried Zaha transfer saga: the actual words of the figures involved.

With Zaha expressing his happiness and Hodgson making it clear no sale is forthcoming, the media obsession over the winger’s Selhurst Park exit appears unfounded.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Three roles that Jack Grealish could play as he edges closer to Tottenham

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Photo: Getty Images.

As Sky Sports say that a deal is close between Tottenham and Aston Villa, Mauricio Pochettino will already be planning where young starlet Jack Grealish could fit into his squad.

It’s likely that Grealish will become the club’s first addition of the summer transfer window with fans growing impatient for signings and will be expecting an immediate impact from him.

The 22-year-old is expected to cost the London club between £30 million and £40 million, yet many remain unconvinced at just how much game time he may get at White Hart Lane.

“I do think he has the ability to progress and play at that level. Is he ready right now for the Spurs first team? I would suggest no. I don’t think so, I don’t see him being a regular in that side at this moment in time.”

Ally McCoist made his feelings clear.

However, Pochettino may have several thoughts in mind when looking to select where to play his newest squad member…

On the wing

Many automatically think of Grealish as a wide player bombing down the wing and looking to cut inside purely based on memories of his time in the Premier League before the Villans were relegated in 2016.

His pace could be a major threat and bares similarities with the roles of the likes of Erik Lamela and Heung-Min Son when fielded on the flanks, particularly with the former increasingly injury prone and the latter likely to be on international duty with South Korea early on in the season.

A good dribbler, Grealish may be forced to adapt to spend more time on the right, as opposed to his usual place on the left, given the preferences of his team-mates though.

As a central attacking midfielder

Over the past two seasons, Grealish has made the number ten role his own at Villa Park and has got results too. With more goals and assists than in any other position, it’s easy to see why.

With 10 goals and 15 assists in 82 appearances in such a role, Grealish relishes the freedom of the role and can often be caught wandering around exploiting gaps in between opposition midfields and defences.

Given that he will have Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen for competition, it may be harder to force himself into the team in such a role, but he could provide an exciting option for rotation and will certainly be given opportunities.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

An alternative to Harry Kane

Perhaps the least likely of the trio, primarily given that his finishing is not one of his strongest points, Grealish could provide an option as a centre forward at White Hart Lane.

Back-up for Kane has been hard to come by and Grealish’s pace and movement would provide a very different option to Fernando Llorente, which could appeal as a makeshift solution to the coach.

Pochettino is an expert when it comes to getting the most out of players and if he feels he could adapt the midfielder into a more advanced role, no-one else will have a better crack at it than he might.

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