On Thursday, Newcastle completed the signing of AC Milan’s Sandro Tonali, opening the door for Tottenham to land James Maddison.
Newcastle splashed out on Tonali, spending about €70 million on the defensive midfielder, concurrently cooling their interest in Maddison.
Even though the Magpies have limitless funds to draw form, they must abide by Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
Until the Foxes slash their asking price for Maddison or Newcastle dumps some talent to offset the recent massive expenditure, Eddie Howe cannot sign his preferred offensive midfield target.
If you’re a Tottenham supporter, you probably think the news out of Tyneside is too good to be true.
It might be, but based on the latest news, there is hope.
Tottenham is now the runaway favourite to sign Maddison.
And while Daniel Levy and company don’t agree with Leicester’s €60 million valuation of the England international, they understand the importance of getting one of Premier League’s most influential midfielders.
This scenario is the perfect embodiment of deja vu, as Spurs pivoted away from David Raya when the asking fee was too high. This, however, feels different.
Fabrizio Romano yesterday said the relationship between Tottenham, Maddison and his agent is excellent, facilitating a more seamless negotiation process.
That doesn’t make Tottenham’s transfer policy any less true. Spurs are highly reluctant to pay a premium for any player, regardless of their talent, potential, or pedigree.
But if Spurs are to make an exception on their summer transfer policy, Maddison should be the player they do it for. Massive proponents of Edmond Tapsoba or those that believe Tottenham require defensive help as a higher priority will passionately disagree.
Spurs must make a €60 million bid get the deal across the line. He’s there for the taking, but will Tottenham belie their transfer policy and make the risk-forward decision?
The club submitted a €60 million joint bid for Maddison and Harvey Barnes a couple of weeks ago, unsurprisingly rejected by the Foxes.
Maddison has a place in Tottenham’s starting 11 if he signs, probably in the No. 8 role, and he still has another five or more years at an elite level.
Scoring 43 goals and adding 34 assists in 163 Premier League games shows the quality he has. He also won the FA Cup in 2021. And he would be playing under former coach Chris Davies, who recently joined as an assistant under Ange Postecoglou.
Not only that, but he also has all of the intangibles Postecoglou admires.
He’s the type of character every player wants in the locker room, leading by example and putting the club first.
He’s also excellent on the ball, distributing incisive passes consistently.
Tottenham saved about €27 million on the Guglielmo Vicario signing, though Levy probably won’t see it that way.
Despite Spurs being in pole position, there’s omnipresent doubt this deal might not come to fruition, purely because of Leicester’s high but fair asking price.
Tottenham last spent that much on Richarlison, who cost about €70 million. While I’m not giving up on the Brazilian, each of his goals last season cost the club about €23 million.
Spurs have a pivotal decision to make, and they’ll need to make it soon.
So, will the ninth-most valuable football club in the world make the deal that could alter the course of their future or pass, instead hellbent on finding more affordable diamonds in the rough?