We keep reading about a long list of players that Spurs want to get rid of this summer, but there might be a big stumbling block when it comes to seeing them go.
That problem is the club itself and the way it traditionally handles player sales. Under the stewardship of Daniel Levy, Tottenham have very often received the optimum amount of cash they could expect when they’ve sold a player.
How everyone laughed when he managed to get Middlesbrough to pay £6m for Mido. ‘You’ve been Levyed’ we mocked. Our chairman was the master negotiator.
Yet for every triumph in the transfer market, Levy’s penchant for brinkmanship has hurt the club. Transfer targets have very often been missed out on as he’s penny pinched and this summer his desire to always come out on top in every deal could cause issues for Mauricio Pochettino.
Other clubs know that Spurs want to get rid of a large number of the squad. Pochettino doesn’t trust them and they need to be shifted so new players can be brought through.
That immediately puts Tottenham on the back foot when it comes to negotiating with interested clubs. No one is going to pay over the odds for these players and it’s likely that a big loss will be made on some of them. Levy will also need to be prepared to supplement wages to get rid of players moving to less affluent teams.
Will this happen? A story in today’s press makes you wonder if common sense will prevail. One of the few players that Spurs can possibly make a profit on this summer is Aaron Lennon. Yet The Mirror reports that Tottenham want a massive £10m for the winger.
Lennon has shone at Everton, but the mere fact he’s out on loan suggests that the club rate him below Erik Lamela and Andros Townsend. He’s also 28, which for a winger who has always relied upon his pace, is getting on. A fee of £10m seems excessive, especially since a more realistic £6m-£7m would still see the club make a decent profit on a player that has given years of service.
If Spurs try to play hardball on every sale this summer they might well end up getting more money in, but at what cost? The quicker these unwanted squad members are out of the door, the quicker Pochettino can spend the money. Waste time in selling players and it will hold up the whole rebuilding process and key targets could be missed out on.
Tottenham need to be pragmatic. Money will be lost, but sometimes you have to admit that a mistake has been made and move on. Besides, there are a number of players who could be sold at a huge profit and probably will one day. These losses are accounted for in that sense.
Lennon could be the litmus test for how Spurs will conduct themselves once the season ends. Here is a player with a club ready and willing to take him. All it needs is a little common sense, but will ENIC realise that to bend is not a sign of weakness?