Tottenham: First six fixtures of 2021/22 Premier League season
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Tottenham Hotspur could take advantage of Barcelona’s current crisis by securing some cut-price transfers this summer. Barca are experiencing serious financial problems and reportedly need to offload a whole host of players in order to fund a new contract for Lionel Messi.
Messi is currently a free agent after his Barca contract expired last week and, while talks are continuing over extending his stay with the Spanish giants, nothing is guaranteed.
That is because the Catalan club would currently not even be able to register Messi, even if he were to sign new terms, due to their staggering levels of debt.
According to Goal, Barcelona have £1,003million (€1,173m) of debt in total and currently owe £276m (€323m) in transfer fees.
The report states that Barca president Joan Laporta needs to work out how to get £171m (€200m) off the books this summer just to be able to register Messi and new arrivals Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal.
Laporta has already begun the firesale, selling Junior Firpo (Leeds), Francisco Trincao (Wolves), Konrad De La Fuente (Marseille) and Jean Claire-Todibo (Nice) and releasing Matheus Fernandes, but more drastic action is required.
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This is where Spurs can benefit. With Nuno Espirito Santo finally on board as manager and Fabio Paratici installed as managing director of football, they can focus on strengthening the squad.
Here are four big-name players who could be available for cut-price fees from Barcelona in the coming weeks.
Had Brendan Rodgers left Leicester City to join Spurs when Jose Mourinho departed in April, then Coutinho could have been a distinct possibility in north London.
The former Liverpool attacking midfielder has endured a difficult time since joining Barcelona in 2018 and is one of the main priorities for Laporta when it comes to reducing the wage bill.
Goal reports that Barca are yet to receive any offers for Coutinho, who earns a whopping £12m (€14m) per year, but AC Milan have been linked with a move by Mundo Deportivo because Hakan Calhanoglu is moving across the city to rivals Inter.
The Mirror reports that Coutinho could be available for as little as £20m, just three years after Barcelona paid Liverpool £142m for his signature.
Griezmann is currently enjoying his holidays after playing for France at Euro 2020, but it seems he could be set for a busy summer.
According to Sport, the arrivals of Aguero and Depay have placed Griezmann’s place under threat and Barcelona are ‘willing to let the player leave’ to free up space in the squad.
Ronald Koeman personally advocated for Depay’s arrival and Aguero’s close relationship with Messi means a Depay-Aguero-Messi front three appears likely next season.
The 30-year-old could therefore push for an exit, with Paris Saint-Germain and the Premier League reportedly possibilities.
Tottenham’s main priority is currently trying to keep Harry Kane, but if he leaves for Manchester City then his transfer fee could be reinvested in Griezmann, who picked up 13 goals and seven assists in 36 La Liga appearances last season.
Spurs are in need of central defenders this summer, with Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez unconvincing last season, Joe Rodon inexperienced and Toby Alderweireld reportedly eyeing the exit.
According to The Athletic, Alderweireld is ‘hopeful of leaving’ and is ‘confident a move can be completed’, with his hometown club Royal Antwerp and Ajax possibilities.
Umtiti could be available on a free transfer, although he has so far rejected the letter of freedom handed to him by Barcelona.
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The 27-year-old only made 16 appearances last season but has previously been a solid performer for club and country. Spurs could do worse than sign the France international and hope he can kick start his career.
Another player Barcelona want rid of, Pjanic could finally get his move to the Premier League this summer.
Spurs, Manchester United, Juventus and Chelsea have previously been linked with the 31-year-old central midfielder, who could be available on a free transfer.
Pjanic has not shown his best form since joining Barca from Juventus last year as part of the deal which took Arthur to Turin, but the four Serie A trophies he won in Italy might convince a club he is worth the gamble.
Paratici oversaw Juve’s period of dominance and therefore knows all about Pjanic’s ability, plus his signing would prompt the pleasing ‘Pjanic on the streets of London’ headline.
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