Trying to Make Sense of the Janssen to Tottenham Saga

Vincent Janssen of AZ Alkmaar during the Dutch Eredivisie match between AZ and PEC Zwolle at the AFAS stadium on april 16, 2016 in Alkmaar, the Netherlands(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
Vincent Janssen of AZ Alkmaar during the Dutch Eredivisie match between AZ and PEC Zwolle at the AFAS stadium on april 16, 2016 in Alkmaar, the Netherlands(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images) /

Tottenham and AZ Alkmaar could have finalized this deal if AZ agreed to Spurs’ bids after making no indication that Vincent Janssen wasn’t for sale.

Tomorrow will be the one-month anniversary of Tottenham’s first link to AZ Alkmaar’s Vincent Janssen. On June 8th, Spurs were closing in on the 22-year-old striker, with the Mirror reporting that the north London outfit was prepared to pay the Eredivisie club a fee of £12 million.

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Let’s be frank here, the £12 million valuation for Janssen wasn’t AZ’, but mainly from Tottenham who looked at the Dutch international’s numbers last season — 27 goals in 34 league games — and saw a goalscorer who won the Golden Boot award.

But, wasn’t playing in one of the top five European leagues. That’s not a knock on Janssen, but it’s to be expected that Spurs submitted a “fair” (or some would say a low-ball) offer for a young striker who has a knack for scoring, but questions loom if he could make the transition to the Premier League.

Not to mention that he will almost assuredly become Harry Kane’s backup for starters. Seeing as how he will need time to adapt to the Premiership. Though that shouldn’t last that long based on what Vincent Janssen has done in two seasons and that’s score plenty of goals.

Moving on, AZ Alkmaar would reject Tottenham’s £12 million bid on June 24th after Wolfsburg started to show interest on June 15th.

This was a sign that the Dutch club didn’t want to sell Janssen.

At £12 million, this is a steal for Spurs even though AZ would get a return of £11.7 million. Which is a lot more than they paid Almere City for, after signing him for £300,000 last summer.

With PSG joining the race for Janssen, it’s become quite obvious what’s going on. AZ have a talented goalscorer on their hands who is attracting a lot of interest, all they have to do is inflate the Dutchman’s value to ward off every single club.

Except, they didn’t. Or not by much. This is where a lot of problems and headaches arise.

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On June 30th, Janssen publicly called out AZ for their handling of the situation. Tottenham had offered £12 million which was rejected.

Spurs then raised their offer to £16.5 million — on the heels of Billy Beane suggesting AZ increase Vincent Janssen’s value to get more money back — but lo and behold, AZ’ sporting director, Max Huiberts denied that Spurs actually submitted a second bid.

The main problem here is that Tottenham are interested in getting a deal done. Janssen wants to move to north London and play with a club that is going places with a coach who has a proven track record of helping develop young talent.

It’ll be a big step up for the Dutch striker, and something that he welcomes.

The fact that AZ Alkmaar even allowed Janssen to visit Tottenham on June 7th to listen to Mauricio Pochettino’s plans according to De Telegraaf, clearly shows that Max Huiberts is expecting to sell Vincent Janssen, but keeps saying he won’t.

These mixed messages are painting AZ in a bad light rather than showing Daniel Levy is once again, being cheap. A low-ball figure on the first offer is fine, no one pays the full amount on their first attempt, that’s just terrible negotiating.

To further compound the issue that AZ are stalling on a deal, is the fact that AZ never once told Tottenham to leave them alone. They’ve been passive-aggressive in not wanting to deal with Spurs but never actually telling them that Janssen was never up for sale to begin with.

Now, surprisingly, it appears that AZ Alkmaar have finally accepted a “third” bid (most likely it’s Spurs’ second offer). A deal appears imminent according to Greg Stobart, a Tottenham beat writer via Squawka.

"“It’s going to happen. Tottenham expect to get the deal done this week,” Stobart said.“It’s very tense between AZ and Tottenham. They have made two bids: the first was around €15 million (£12 million), which was the initial asking price, and they thought they were going to get him for that.”“But the price has since gone up to €20 million. Tottenham have had an €18 million bid rejected as well.”“Via the agent [Janssen’s] they’ve been made well aware that €20 million will do the deal.”“AZ accepted an offer of €20 million from West Ham, but Janssen turned them down – he’s desperate to join Tottenham.”"

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It remains to be seen if a deal will ever be announced. But one thing is for sure, AZ’ sporting director, Max Huiberts, has played his cards wrong this entire time. It says a lot that talks have been going through Vincent Janssen’s agent this entire time because Huiberts wants no part of these talks despite being the sporting director of AZ.

Had Huiberts followed Rafa Benítez’ example of not wanting to sell Georginio Wijnaldum by placing a £25 million price tag above his head, it assures no team will want to match that offer.

AZ should have done the same. They didn’t and now Janssen is ready to move on and join Tottenham, making the Dutch side look very bad for stalling on a deal that should have been completed quickly last month. Or stopped by saying no and placing a large price tag even if it doesn’t equal Janssen’s true value.