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Tottenham’s imminent signing Riqui Puig from Barcelona reflects long-term planning

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Photo: Getty Images.

Mauricio Pochettino‘s long-term planning at White Hart Lane looks set to continue as reports from Spain indicate that Tottenham Hotspur are closing in on a deal to sign Barcelona teen sensation Riqui Puig.

Catalan newspaper SPORT believe that Tottenham are in advanced talks with the 18-year-old who is wanted by a host of clubs from across Europe, with Barcelona also doing all they can to retain his services and have offered him a spot in the squad of their B team in an attempt to persuade him to stay.

The central midfielder is very highly thought of within Spain and Mauricio Pochettino is thought to be the driving force behind a deal for Puig, indicating again his commitment to the cause despite interest from elsewhere.

(Photo by Robert Hradil/Getty Images)

A talented central midfielder, Puig has developed a reputation for his superb passing game and ability on the ball, acting as a creative playmaker and often looking to bomb forward himself.

He is so respected in fact that Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has spoken of his potential, being quoted by SPORT as saying, “he is a lad with a lot of enthusiasm, with the Barça style. I don’t know what future holds for him, but we hope he has a big future at the club.”

Such a move, competing with the elite of European football, reflect Tottenham’s ongoing efforts to match their desire to become players at the top end of the game. By bringing through and developing exciting talents from both home and abroad, the future is looking bright for Tottenham.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

Tottenham Hotspur

Matias Vecino is not the man to replace Mousa Dembele for Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur may need a replacement for Mousa Dembele this summer.

Mathew Nash

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Tottenham Hotspur are now being linked with a move for Inter Milan midfielder Matias Vecino. Tuttosport are reporting that Spurs, along with Everton, are keen on the Uruguayan – who has been told he can leave the San Siro this summer.

The fee involved would reportedly be in the region of £26.3 million for the player. The obvious link here is also the interest in Mousa Dembele from Inter. The Belgian is high on the Italian side’s wishlist, as his contract situation at Tottenham turns rotten.

But Spurs should steer clear of any deal for the Uruguay midfielder this summer.

Undoubtedly, he is a very good player. The 26-year-old is neat and tidy in midfield with an excellent passing ratio.

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

But, as anyone who saw the recent Uruguay v Egypt game will testify, his passing range is hardly expansive.

Vecino prefers a sideways or backward pass, rather than trying to probe the opposing defence. It is for that reason that Tottenham should simply steer clear.

If Spurs are going to replace Dembele this summer they need to do so with a player who has the ability to be better than the Belgian. Vecino, simply put, does not even come close.

The impact of losing Dembele will be keenly felt at Spurs if the experienced midfielder goes and ensuring a top replacement is brought in is imperative for future success in North London.

Vecino is not the man for the job at Tottenham Hotspur and he would simply not last the course if he made the move this summer.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur round-up: Barrios pleaded, Vecino linked and Eriksen the difference

The latest news and gossip from Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur.

Mathew Nash

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Barrios plea

Boca Juniors have made a final attempt to keep hold of their midfield maestro Wilmar Barrios, as Tottenham Hotspur continue their pursuit.

The Independent is reporting that the Argentine giants want to keep the player until the January transfer window at least. In order to do so they have offered the Colombian a massive salary increase, so he can partake in the Copa Libertadores campaign.

The 24-year-old has a release clause of £14.5 million and despite telling his club he would not be leaving prior to the World Cup, his time in Russia has seen him warm to the idea of a London switch.

(Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Vecino interest

Tottenham are now being linked with a move for Inter Milan midfielder Matias Vecino. Tuttosport is suggesting that both Spurs and Everton are keen on the 26-year-old, who is currently on international duty with Uruguay at the World Cup.

Valued at around €30 million (£26.3 million), he is reportedly not a part of Inter boss Luciano Spalletti’s plans for next season and therefore has come to Spurs’ interest.

With Inter keen on Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele, it will be interesting to see where this transfer story goes.

Eriksen class

Christian Eriksen was in World Cup action yesterday evening, as Denmark took on Peru in Saransk.

The Danes won the game 1-0 but were lucky to do so with Eriksen struggling throughout.

However, the Spurs star found a touch of magic to help them win the game. His through ball was perfect for Yussuf Poulsen, who slotted home a left-footed finish.

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Leicester City

Tottenham should move for Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez in quest for creative forward

The Leicester City maestro could become a world beater at Tottenham.

Jamie Watts

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Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is undoubtedly looking to bolster his attacking options this term, and a number of stellar names have been linked with moves to north London. But so far nothing has gathered any real traction on that front.

A brief spell of hope in the pursuit of priority target Anthony Martial materialised yesterday, as his agent revealed the player’s desire to leave Manchester United, in quotes via RMC Sport. But, United sharply asserted that the player remains in their plans next season, just hours later, in reports from Sky Sports. And Pochettino will have reevaluate his targets once more.

One name the club has yet to be linked with is Leicester City‘s Riyad Mahrez. And that comes as something of a surprise, when considering the criteria Pochettino is looking for.

Photo: Getty Images

The Argentine coach is looking to improve the supply line to 41 goal striker Harry Kane, and few if any, are as creative as Mahrez in the final third in England. The former Premier League Player of the Year is able to play across all front-three roles, and is equally effective in all of them – amassing an impressive 13 goals and 13 assists in 41 appearances this term.

Mahrez is clearly looking to engineer a move away from the King Power Stadium, following his 10-day absence in January, after the club blocked the Algerian’s move to champions Manchester City (Sky Sports), and Tottenham should now join the running for his signature.

Photo: Getty Images

There are obvious concerns over the player’s valuation, with the Foxes turning down seriously lucrative bids of £60 million from Pep Guardiola in January, but Leicester are likely to concede for less now, as the player fulfilled his duty to the club – and they have time to bring in replacements, unlike transfer deadline day.

Daniel Levy will have to accept that a quality attacking addition capable of propelling Spurs to silverware will cost a serious fee, and it’s simply a sign of the times if he doesn’t want to fall behind rivals in the quest for the highest honours.

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