Paul Doyle on 27 April 2018
Mauricio Pochettino has identified the players he wants to sell this summer in order to turn Tottenham from pretenders into winners of one of the two trophies he deems worthy of his respect. The club have also been told which players he can no longer bedazzle into accepting below-market wages. Put those two lists together and there’s expected to be considerable outward traffic from Spurs over the coming months.
Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose could be Manchester United-bound for starters, although the Belgian is also being eyed up by Real Madrid and Juventus. Spurs central midfield is also to be denuded as Mousa Dembélé and Victor Wanyama have admirers from England to China and Daniel Levy is looking forward to playing various bidders off each other as soon as the transfer window opens: that’s when his season begins. Jean Michaël Seri of Nice could be brought in as a midfield fig leaf but Chelsea are after him too.
Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi are literally falling over themselves in their eagerness to convince whoever is making transfer decisions at Arsenal now that no new central defenders are required at the club. That is entirely the wrong way to go about it, of course, and something about the way the pair were outfought on Thursday night by, respectively, Antoine Greizman and a banana skin has confirmed to the club that Arsenal need a wise old head at the back: and who fits that description better than a Greek called Sokratis? No one, that’s who. So Arsenal will make a summer swoop for Borussia Dortmund’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos. They may also cosy up to Jonny Evans, who, if he wants to move to London and enjoy the theatre, will also have the option of West Ham.
Arsenal also want a new goalkeeper and reckon Leverkusen’s Bernd Leno is their man. But so do Atlético Madrid, who may be about to lose Jan Oblak to Chelsea, Paris Saint-German or Liverpool.
Plucking a winger from Serie A and turning him into the world’s greatest attacker is a trick Liverpool want to try pulling off again. They’ll have to stump up around £40m to make Federico Chiesa of Fiorentina the subject of their latest experiment.
Everton have tentative hopes of persuading Yuri Berchiche to join them from PSG, but the left-back also as a slew of admirers in Spain, including Atlético and Bilbao.