Marseille President Wants Tottenham Target on West Ham

Michy Batshuayi’s preferred move is to join Tottenham Hotspur at the conclusion of the European Championship but Vincent Labrune, Olympique Marseille’s president, could block that by selling him to one of Spurs’ rival, West Ham United.

The latest twist in the Michy Batshuayi transfer saga could take a turn for the worse if Marseille’s chief refuses to sell the Belgian striker to Tottenham because he would rather have the 22-year-old go to east London and play for West Ham instead according to the Daily Express.

For a while now, a couple of months dating back to April, Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed his interest in Marseille’s Batshuayi to sign this summer in the hopes of alleviating a two-year burden that Harry Kane has had in being Tottenham’s only out-and-out striker.

But all of a sudden there’s a tug-of-war of sorts involving Spurs and Marseille.

For the Ligue 1 side, they face a tight deadline in selling Michy Batshuayi before June 30 to recoup a deficit of €40 million (£30.7 million) otherwise they will face punishment for DNCG relegations after already stating that the Belgian international would no longer be on their books to start the 2016-17 season.

This is where it gets tricky.

Olympique Marseille must sell players to balance out their books, and Michy Batshuayi is one of the players who will be gone but won’t move until after the Euros.

With Tottenham balking at a £31 million transfer fee, something that West Ham have no problem paying, the Hammers are looking “likely” to sign the 22-year-old.

Michy Batshuayi and Romain Thomas during the French Ligue 1 match between Angers SCO and Olympique de Marseille on May 1, 2016 in Angers, France. (Photo by Mathieu Valro/Icon Sport) (Photo by Mathieu Valro/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Michy Batshuayi and Romain Thomas during the French Ligue 1 match between Angers SCO and Olympique de Marseille on May 1, 2016 in Angers, France. (Photo by Mathieu Valro/Icon Sport) (Photo by Mathieu Valro/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Batshuayi has stated that between the two London clubs, West Ham and Tottenham, he would rather join Spurs instead. A part of that could be because of Mauricio Pochettino’s track record of getting the best out of his young players by showing plenty of faith in them.

Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Dele Alli are prime examples.

Another reason, now that the 2015-16 Premier League season is over, is that Spurs are in the Champions League while West Ham are in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League.

Among plenty of footballers, they’re dream is to one day play in Europe’s elite club competition. And even if they have already, they would always choose to continue playing Champions League football rather than Europa League football.

In that sense, Tottenham is the most logical choice, but Batshuayi unfortunately doesn’t have final say on where he goes unless he decides to pull a Saido Berahino and refuses to play for West Ham assuming that they sign him or any other club who meets Marseille’s valuation.

Should Les Olympiens find themselves running out of time (something that’s already happening) and Spurs are indeed able to sign Batshuayi at a reduced price so that Marseille’s books can be in order, on paper, Tottenham’s strikeforce will be quite deadly.

Partnering up with Harry Kane up top in a two striker formation or as the lone center-forward with Kane playing behind as the number 10 will make defenses choose which player to defend more when both strikers are on the pitch together.

It’s something that should have happened when Son Heung-Min joined Spurs last summer but an injury, trying to adapt to Pochettino’s offense and the Premier League, plus Dele Alli surpassing expectations and being a key member on the squad, made the South Korean’s transition slow.

If Tottenham are unable to sign Michy Batshuayi because of all the roadblocks in their way, most notably Marseille’s firm belief that he must be sold at £30.7 million because they need to recoup a lot of money, then a possible chance to sign the Belgian striker could be all for naught because the 22-year-old has stated he won’t move until the Euros are complete.

Essentially what it all boils down to is this, Tottenham needs to sign a couple of strikers with two being a reasonable amount. But their top two targets of Batshuayi and Vincent Janssen could be heading elsewhere if West Ham completes a deal and Wolfsburg secures Janssen’s services.

There are other options that Spurs have, but to not get their preferred targets once again would be a major blow as it will no doubt leave Harry Kane with a third consecutive season as Pochettino’s main striker with little to no rest.