Tottenham began the current season with modest expectations. With an expensive move to a new stadium upcoming, the London club have been putting a focus on signing young players of relatively modest value in the transfer market and handing them to second-year manager Mauricio Pochettino to develop. Yet, with just over half of the season gone, Spurs lie inside the top four and within six points of the top of the table. A Champions League place is a definite possibility and a first league title in 55 years cannot be ruled out.
With such lofty goals now within sight, there is reason for Tottenham to be one of the more active clubs in the January transfer window. There is a strong argument that Tottenham’s position might be even stronger had they reinforced their squad more in one particular area in the summer. Spurs have drawn nine of their 20 matches in the Premier League, many of those when they were the better team but couldn’t finish their opponents off. And five of those draws came before leading scorer Harry Kane had overcome his scoring slump to start the season. The lack of an alternative goal-scorer has been a hindrance, and it is something that Pochettino has admitted he would like to address in the transfer window.
An obvious target is the man Spurs tried and failed to sign late in the summer window. Tottenham had a series of bids, going up to £25 million, rejected by West Brom for Saido Berahino, leading to an angry outburst by the 22-year-old directed at his club’s chairman. Berahino continues to be linked with Spurs, although he has fallen out of favor at his current club, and, according to the London Evening Standard, Tottenham now have reservations about signing a potentially disruptive influence. If Tottenham were to make a fresh approach, they would doubtless expect the asking price to be lowered considerably given his recent lack of playing time.
And Spurs may be casting their net wider. Oumar Niasse has scored 12 goals in 23 appearances for Lokomotiv Moscow this season, form that is set to earn him a £15 million transfer to the Premier League in January, reports The Guardian. Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United and Everton are all said to be interested in the 25-year-old, who has made his name thanks to dazzling pace and a keen eye for goal. Niasse moved to Moscow from Turkish club Akhisar Belediyespor in 2015, and has also made four appearances for Senegal.
One rumored target it now looks certain Tottenham won’t be signing in January is Michy Batshuayi. The recently capped Belgium international has attracted the attention of clubs across Europe after scoring 14 goals this season for Marseille. However, the 22-year-old has just dashed the hopes, at least temporarily, of Tottenham and other suitors, having signed a new contract at Marseille through to 2020.
While they remain in search of an additional striker, Tottenham will be desperate to avoid the prolific one they currently have on their books. Since enjoying a breakout season last term, Kane has been mentioned with a big-money move away from White Hart Lane. And The Telegraph now reports that Real Madrid are casting a firm eye over the England international. Tottenham have plenty of history of losing their star player to the Spanish giants, having seen both Gareth Bale and Luka Modric make the move in recent years.
The claim now is that Kane is seen as a potential replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, yet it still appears unlikely at this stage that Real Madrid would see Kane as a major part of their future. Certainly any movement wouldn’t happen until the summer.