Report reveals Spurs could have signed £30m midfielder for half the price

Report reveals Spurs could have signed £30m midfielder for half the price

GENT, BELGIUM - FEBRUARY 16: Moussa Sissoko of Tottenham Hotspur in action during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 first leg match between KAA Gent and Tottenham Hotspur at Ghelamco Arena on February 16, 2017 in Gent, Belgium. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)


Last summer, Tottenham equalled their transfer record to sign Moussa Sissoko from Newcastle United for £30 million.

But you hardly need reminding of that. Spurs fans are constantly forced to recall the fact their club spent a huge percentage of last season’s transfer funds on a flop.

Sissoko is expected to leave Tottenham this summer, and it will be difficult to recoup anything close to £30 million.

To add insult to injury, The New York Times has revealed Spurs could have signed the Frenchman for half the price had Real Madrid not interfered.

In an insightful report investigating how a player’s worth is calculated, the American newspaper disclosed this interesting detail on Sissoko and his then teammate Georginio Wijnaldum:

“Privately, the club [Newcastle] believed that 15 million pounds would be a healthy price for each player. When Real Madrid inquired about Sissoko and suggested, without prompting, that it would be prepared to pay twice that, Newcastle duly increased its valuation.”

That “special partnership” with Madrid is really paying off then, hey?


  1. So much was paid for Sissoko because by deadline day last year, fans were becoming pissed off that so many sales had been made and no money was being spent, not only that but the big Isco deal everyone was waiting for was clearly dead in the water going into the last day, and Janssen clearly was a work in progress from the early games.
    Paul Mitchell (who still to me was an incredible scouting and recruitment expert and a real asset to the club) had quit over Levy reneging on the price he’d agreed for NKoudou, who had ended up spending a month or two sitting in a London hotel waiting for his transfer to go through.
    The other recruitment guy (whose name I cant remember) also quit not long after Mitchell. Kieran McKenna our superb youth team coach had also quit straight after the sale of Bentaleb and Mason and moved to Man United.
    Overall, barring Wanyama coming in early, our summer business in a champions league qualifying year had been a disaster. Jannsen looked like a work in progress, NKoudou had only just started training with the team and wasn’t himself confirmed until deadline day. We’d invested no champions league money, or any of the new prem TV money and sold we’s 68m in players – Bentaleb (17M reported loan to buy), Mason (13m), Chadli (13m), Pritchard (8m), Carroll (5m) Yedlin (5m) Njie (7m loan to buy).
    So by deadline day, we’d lost 2 senior recruitment guys, a top youth team coach, 7 squad players for 68m, and we’d signed 2 players for 30m, one of whom wasn’t working out so well, and NKoudou wasn’t going to be enough to appease the fans.
    Sissoko was actually at or en route from Newcastle on deadline day, and in an act of pure desperation we rerouted him to come and sign for us instead. It was a pure panic buy. Poch I think wanted a speedy attacking player, Mane (who it later transpired had been at Hotspur Way but went to sign for Liverpool after Levy refused his 90k wages), Poch also was clearly very fond of Zaha but again no deal with Palace. Eventually Sissoko was signed as a last minute, last resort signing.
    Sissoko imo has been a bad signing most importantly for 2 reasons a) he’s played as a winger instead of box to box which is his best position and b) the fans have just never taken to him due to his price tag, his failure to deliver on it and the idea that he and Newcastle mugged us off.

  2. I dont think you can say Newcastle mugged us off. If we are offered 30m for that flop, we’d take it laughing. Other clubs the real mug.

    • That’s why I said the “idea” that he and Newcastle mugged us off. Sissoko was never worth 30 million and I didn’t want him from the outset, but he is a better player than he’s had the chance to show at Spurs. I don’t think the fans will have him, but I look at all of our players as assets, and I’d have him training as a box to box this summer, so if we didn’t shift him, we’d at least have a player who could serve a positive purpose in our squad. At no point has he ever looked decent as a winger, and thats all we’ve ever played him as.

  3. Newcastle fan here, and the comments are an interesting read. I’ve read the full article and it sounds familiar! In his time at our place he said Arsenal was the club of his heart and Madrid wanted him! We couldn’t believe it and would of gladly sold him years prior, he has all the physical attributes to be top class and he also has some ability, not as much as he thinks, but the man lacks heart and passion. I think he’ll end up in China making major money. The reason we laughed is we saw what he can do and heard what he said but never believed anyone would give us the £30m for a player who struggled at our place and was never regarded as our best player. For position he begged Pardew to play him behind the striker, so when Cabaye was sold he was played there, until a few games in it was realised his touch is heavy, didn’t know how to be in the right place and finishing is amongst the worst we’ve ever seen. He was then duly put back on the right where he created 0 goals and scored 0 goals, that’s genuine you can look it up. To make matters worse the man is cancerous and will cause conflict at your club.

  4. Deal was £6m per year spread over 5 years with a guarantee or floor price of only £17m. £30 million only applies if he stays into the 5th year of his contract. If he goes thus summer (50/50 I think) Spurs would need £17m to recoup their outlay. Levy is not a complete novice as seems to be the prevailing view on Tyneside who keep on recycling this hoary chestnut of a £30m transfer fee.


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