We’re used to agonising transfer sagas at Spurs. Summers spent with nausea in the stomach where contentment should be, as we worry as to whether Luka Modric or Gareth Bale will be flogged.
These days it’s the future of Hugo Lloris that has us in a pickle. Today The Guardian reports that Lloris is ready to leave Tottenham due to his frustration at not playing Champions League football.
If Lloris did feel this way only the most stone-hearted of Spurs fans could blame him. He’s a truly world class player in his position and better than a large number of keepers that hear that pompous Champions League theme on a regular basis.
Yet wanting to leave and being able to are two entirely different things, especially for a goalkeeper. Vacancies for a keeper at the world’s super clubs are rare, which gives Tottenham a fighting chance of holding on to Lloris for at least another season.
David Hytner’s article is full of different permutations, ifs and buts, which goes to prove that Lloris’ potential exit is not as simple as him fancying a move and some top clubs thinking he’s a really good player.
Most top clubs already have a top goalkeeper in place so you have to look at where there is a potential vacancy. The most obvious is at Real Madrid, where Iker Casillas is clearly the weak spot of the team and has only been kept around for so long for sentimental reasons.
Madrid could turn to Lloris themselves but their first choice will be David de Gea. If they get their wish then Manchester United might make a move for the French international, though they do have the former Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes on their books.
The other obvious club that could move for Lloris are Paris St Germain. Why wouldn’t a team with as much money as PSG want to sign the French captain? Well for starters, their current keeper Salvatore Sirigu is pretty good and they have FFP to worry about.
Because if Lloris is sold it will not be on the cheap. He only signed a new contract last summer and Daniel Levy gets the best price for his players. It’s hard to see Spurs considering selling Lloris for any less than £25m with a probable upper limit of £35m.
To put things into perspective relatively few keepers have ever been transferred for over £10m, with the record amount paid for one still being the £30m that Juventus paid for Gianluigi Buffon way back in 2001. As Hytner points out, Petr Cech – still only 32 – is also likely to be available this summer at a much cheaper price.
So that’s the good news. The bad news is that both Real Madrid and Manchester United are both committed and able to pay mammoth fees.
Tottenham fans will not want to see Lloris leave but in some ways the club are in a no-lose situation. They either get to keep arguably the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, or sell him for a huge fee at a time when they already have the experienced Michel Vorm on the books.
Vorm is no Lloris but he’s a decent enough replacement in the short term. There would be absolutely no need to panic if Lloris were sold. The club could live with Vorm while they looked round for a replacement, while potentially strengthening other areas of the side.
So hopefully we won’t feel as nervous as has been the case in previous summers. Lloris may be no less talented than Modric or Bale but his situation is thankfully very different.