Tottenham has no intention of matching Blackburn’s £9.45 million valuation of Ashley Phillips, instead waiting for Friday when his £2 million escape clause is triggered.
For once, Tottenham has the upper hand on a prospective transfer. The upper hand, however, has incumbent risks and depends on several variables going their way.
The escape clause allows any team interested in the 18-year-old to snap him from Blackburn for a measly £2 million come Friday.
Aside from begging Phillips on all fours to stay – which will accomplish nothing but further humiliation – there’s nothing Blackburn can do.
Friday is the day Tottenham supporters should have circled on their calendar, as that’s when Phillips’ escape clause kicks in.
It’s highly improbable, knowing he’ll be ripe for the picking come Friday for pennies on the dollar, a club will pay £9.45 million for Phillips.
Blackburn jacked the price on Tottenham at the last minute, even after the latter thought a deal in principle was agreed.
Tottenham was willing to pay £5 million all in, a respectable and equitable offer. This time Daniel Levy is not the villain, though Blackburn may have acted more professionally had they not been negotiating with a man of his questionable character.
Unless another club swoops in with an offer exceeding £6 million, Blackburn’s brinksmanship will backfire, causing the club, already in a state of financial ruin, to lose their most prized asset for £2 million.
There is, as always, a caveat.
Another club may submit an equitable bid before Friday, an altogether unlikely outcome. And even if another club bids on him before Friday, Tottenham will have an opportunity to match.
So the decision will likely come down to where Phillips wants to play.
Knowing £2 million is an absolute steal for a player of his lofty potential, several clubs will probably appear from the shadows on Friday, willing to the pay pocket change it will cost for the Under-19 England international.
Tottenham must feel fairly confident about Phillips’ forthcoming decision.
Who knows, maybe Levy has given Phillips assurances, telling the young lad he’ll be one of Tottenham’s starting centre-back this season.
While farcical and a poor attempt at humour, it’s the only explanation for Tottenham’s infuriating inaction where signing a bonafide top-tier centre-back is concerned.
Let’s hope signing Phillips on Friday, if this theory turns into reality, isn’t the only business Tottenham completes this week.