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.
Tottenham should fear Toby Alderweireld’s potential exit
Losing the Belgian international would be a huge blow for the Lilywhites.
Reports from Belgian outlet Het Laatse Nieuws have linked Tottenham centre-half Toby Alderweireld with a £43 million exit from Spurs this summer after the north London club reportedly gave up on contract negotiations.
The loss of the Belgian international would be a severe blow to the Tottenham defense, as well as to the image of the club.
If Spurs want to take the next step and seriously challenge for the Premier League title and advance to the latter stages of the Champions League, they must keep hold of their biggest talents.
Alderweireld has been imperious for the north London side ever since he joined from Atlético Madrid in the summer of 2015. After impressing on loan with Southampton in the 2014/15 season, the centre-half excelled at White Hart Lane.
An integral part of the impressive Spurs teams of 2015/16 and 2016/17, Alderweireld was an ever-present in the backline. He played every single match in 2015/16 and 30 matches the following season.
And not coincidentally, these years coincided with tremendous defensive fortitude for Tottenham. In both seasons, Spurs boasted the best defensive record in the league, conceding just 35 and 26 goals respectively- a truly remarkable feat.
Yet this season, the Belgian’s involvement has been severely hindered due to a hamstring injury. Consequently, Spurs remain well off the pace for the title race and have already conceded 25 goals, almost surpassing the previous season’s total with eight matches to spare.
If the rumours of his impending departure are correct, Tottenham will suffer a major blow to their back four. Physically imposing and tactically adept, Alderweireld has been a colossus in the centre of defense for Spurs for three years now.
Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth are simply not capable replacements for the Belgian international, and a loss of Alderweireld would spell trouble for Tottenham’s title chances and European ambition in 2018/19.
£43m for Toby Alderweireld would be great business for Tottenham Hotspur
It seems that the Belgian defender is definitely on his way out of Tottenham Hotspur.
It seems as though Toby Alderweireld is on his way out of Tottenham Hotspur.
It is being reported by Het Laatse Nieuws today that the Belgian’s contract talks with Spurs have been halted.
With the Belgian out of contract in the summer of 2019, Spurs will attempt to cash in on Alderweireld now.
A fee of £43 million has been mentioned for the player, who reportedly wanted a wage to match that of Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool.
Tottenham’s stance of not paying out big wages to their top players has often been criticised. But on this occasion, the Lilywhites are doing the right thing.
On his day and when fit, Alderweireld might be the best centre-back in the Premier League. However, it has been a long time since the Belgian had such a day.
Most of this season has seen Alderweireld on the treatment table. When he has played, it has always seemed a precursor to his next injury.
Given his age and contract situation, the injury record gives Alderweireld three strikes. At £43 million, Tottenham would be getting a fantastic deal for their defender.
The report from HLN claimed that Alderweireld wanted a wage in the region of €180,000-a-week (£160,000-a-week). Such a sum is vast for a player with his current issues.
The fact Spurs were reportedly willing to go as high as €120,000 (£105,000) per week shows that Daniel Levy tried to keep the Belgian, even doubling his current wage, but Alderweireld is on his way.
It will be a shame for Spurs but breaking the wage structure at the club for an injury prone defender would not have been a wise move.
Eventually, Tottenham might have to be more lenient with their wages, but that should be saved for the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli or Christian Eriksen.
Tottenham should take £43 million for Alderweireld and persevere with the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth.
Alderweireld’s next club will hope they can keep the Belgian fit long enough to reap the rewards of his potential signature.
Christian Eriksen happy at Tottenham, as national coach suggests he’s ready for move
Age Hareide believes Eriksen is ready to play for Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Christian Eriksen has been in fine form for Tottenham Hotspur this season.
The Danish international has maintained his role as a fan favourite and first-team regular with sublime performances in the attacking midfield role.
Such form obviously has him attracting interest. In the past, there have been rumblings of a potential exit. Real Madrid and Barcelona are two teams that would obviously love someone of Eriksen’s immense talent.
One person who feels Eriksen is up for the move is his national team boss Age Hareide.
Speaking in the Danish press this week the Norwegian claimed Eriksen is better than Luka Modric was when he left for Madrid in 2012.
As quoted by TV2/FYN, Hareide was clear Eriksen has what it takes to play for both sides, but can see why he might stay at Spurs:
“He is ready to take one step more.
“I think he is a type that can adapt to anything. Give him a ball, then the ball will speak for him wherever he is. Christian is a type that just gets better from dealing with better football players.
“Looking at the players that play central to Real Madrid and Barcelona, none of those who are better than Christian.
“Luka Modric came from Tottenham to Real Madrid, and he was not as good as Christian.
“He has gone through a fantastic development during Mauricio Pochettino in Tottenham. It is a team that plays very nice football, and as we are also inspired by.
“Now, Tottenham gets a new stadium, so why should he not continue in London?”
Tottenham fans will immediately be concerned about such talk.
Eriksen is undoubtedly a key player and they know such a move could always be on the cards for the midfield maestro.
Whilst away on international duty players are often linked with moves away from clubs.
It is often down to slow news back home, but players also have time to reflect when away with their country.
If Hareide is talking up Eriksen this way in the press, Tottenham fans will hope he isn’t in the dressing room.
But in reality, Hareide should and will want Eriksen to remain at Spurs.
A move to Real or Barca brings inherent risks of bench-warming – something he will never do at Spurs.
Eriksen also spoke to TV2/FYN this week, ahead of Denmark’s friendly clashes with Panama and Chile and made it clear he is happy at Tottenham Hotspur.
He did, however, mention a desire for trophies:
“To be honest, I do not give a change of mind any thought. You have your dreams, but what’s realistic and going to happen, you see first when the offer is on the table.
“Right now, most are very happy to be in Tottenham, and I am too.
“I still think I can win something with Tottenham. Looking at where Tottenham is now compared to when I joined the club, people are now watching us as title candidates.”
Spurs’ biggest challenge in the next year or so is to keep this group of players, and their manager, in North London.
The longer they go without winning a trophy an eventuality which sees the likes of Dele Alli, Harry Kane and even Mauricio Pochettino leaving becomes increasingly likely.
Eriksen and co. currently have their eyes on the FA Cup, with a semi-final tie against Manchester United upcoming.
Winning that competition may need to be the start of a run of silverware. Otherwise, Hareide’s prediction regarding Eriksen’s suitability to Barca and Real may be put to the test.
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