It’s one of those Tottenham rumours with a pinch of authenticity and a heaping tablespoon of conjecture.
Links to FC Porto’s Pepe started surfacing yesterday, with the source being Portuguese sports publication A Bola. It sounds like a deadly disease, but anyway.
Not only has the Portuguese publication disseminated the rumours, but they’ve also gone as far as to say that Tottenham has already made an opening bid for the 26-year-old.
Transfermarkt pegs his value at €26 million, so if the rumours are true, Tottenham probably made an initial bid of half that figure.
But does the rumour make sense? To an extent, yes.
Pepe is an electrifying left winger, at least in terms of breakneck pace and athleticism. He scored four goals and seven assists in 28 starts and 34 Primeira Liga appearances during the 2022-23 campaign.
While a decent offensive return, you can see why he won’t break the bank if Tottenham has a genuine interest.
It feels like Pepe is a player Ange would love to mould.
Still only 26, Pepe was fairly proficient when chances came his way. His 5.1 expected goals translate into Pepe being pretty clinical when a good scoring opportunity presented itself.
He also made 101 progressive carries, second only to Galeno, also a Brazilian left winger who is a year Pepe’s younger. It looks like they have a surplus of Brazilian left-wingers, so losing one shouldn’t be too emotionally taxing.
Ange will love the fact that he drives forward in possession and pressures the defence into making difficult decisions. Pepe is also versatile, playing in several positions during his 97-match tenure at Porto, including right back.
Pepe earns about €55,000 weekly, a palatable amount for Daniel Levy to fork out. He’s under contract at the Portuguese club until June 2027.
So those aspects of the rumour make sense, even striking a chord of anticipation.
However, it’s the first we’ve heard of these rumours.
Also, so far, only A Bola (every time I say that aloud, it feels more sinister and transmissible) has pushed this particular rumour into the mainstream.
While there is a chance the speculation turns into something more concrete and reliable, until a reputable English publication (or Fabrizio Romano) jumps on the story and the bandwagon, we’ll have to shove this rumour under the mattress, where space is becoming scarce.