Reports claim that the Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi has told Spurs that he wants to join them this summer.
The stumbling block could be the fact that West Ham have made a £31m bid. Though Batshuayi turned down their £80,000 a week offer, West Ham have set a very high benchmark for both the transfer fee and wages.
Batshuayi has long been linked with a move to Tottenham, as the club looks to add competition and cover for Harry Kane. The fact that Batshuayi is currently on Euro 2016 duty with Belgium gives Spurs something of an advantage when it comes to attracting the player to White Hart Lane, with Toby Alderweireld, Mousa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen already colleagues at international level.
With the additional lure of the Champions League, it’s not hard to see why Batshuayi would prefer to move to Tottenham. What could be more tricky is persuading Daniel Levy to pay such a huge fee for the 22-year old and a salary that equals what the top earners at Spurs are on.
Levy has traditionally been a tough negotiator with both clubs and players, but now might have to be the summer when he loosens the purse strings a little. Though Tottenham have a new stadium to pay for, there is also a massive influx of fresh TV money coming in, that will be a game-changer in English football.
We’re now in a world where a club thinks nothing of bidding £20m for Troy Deeney and perhaps even more surprising, that offer is turned down. If that’s the going rate for an uncapped striker, who turns 28 in a couple of weeks and has only one year of top flight experience, perhaps £31m for a youthful player like Batshuayi is not such bad value.
Salaries at the club might also have to be looked at. The squad is full of players who could earn far more elsewhere and that has to be addressed if Levy expects to keep them happy in the long-term. This is especially true when you consider that Levy is paid more than any other Premier League chief executive.
It is somewhat hypocritical to pay yourself the highest wage in the league, when there are five English clubs that can give their players more than Spurs. The tight wage structure needs to be relaxed if last season’s success is not to prove a blip.
If Tottenham had an alternative to Kane last season, it’s likely that they would have pushed Leicester even closer in the battle for the title. Having delivered beyond all expectations, Mauricio Pochettino deserves to be backed if Batshuayi is the striker he wants.