Wednesday wasn’t enjoyable for Tottenham or its supporters, as the club, still waiting for reinforcements at the top of the pitch, saw Brighton swoop in and hijack Ansu Fati.
It was a major blow to Tottenham’s pursuit of an affordable attack-oriented player, particularly given the circumstances of the failed deal.
Daniel Levy, who is nothing if not predictable, is at the centre of it all.
The long, drawn-out Brennan Johnson scenario
He’s adamant that Nottingham Forest’s £50 million asking price for Brennan Johnson is too prohibitive, too rich for his blood.
In fairness, Brentford had to walk away from Forest after seeing its over £40 million bid for Johnson rejected. Johnson, whose market value has skyrocketed, was worth about £10 million a few years ago.
While the price is probably about £10 million too high, Forest isn’t going to budge. The 22-year-old is too important to the club, especially three weeks into the season, providing Forest with no time to find a replacement if he leaves (they probably wouldn’t replace him immediately anyway).
You’re not alone if your mind goes directly to the Harry Kane sale.
But at least Levy had a few weeks to find suitable reinforcements; not like he’s made the most of it. If I didn’t know any better, I’d still think Levy was on holiday with his family in the U.S.
That’s the only logical explanation for Spurs not sourcing at least one player to join and aid the lonesome Richarlison.
Despite Johnson’s inflated £50 million price tag, Spurs were steadfast in making a deal happen.
Levy offered Davinson Sanchez as part of a swap deal, a gesture Forest probably found hysterical. Sufficed to say Forest wasn’t amenable to the offer.
Other names, like Jonathan David, popped up and disappeared almost as fast as a tennis ball flies through the court at the U.S. Open.
Except for Gift Orban’s, whose Tottenham links had some staying power. But that prospective deal also fizzled out. You don’t need to be a transfer expert like Fabrizio Romano to guess why. Levy wasn’t acceptant of the £30 million asking price.
Tottenham running out of time and options
Now, Levy’s stuck between a concrete slab and an immovable object, and the last 24 hours proved it.
Levy and company either just kindled an interest in Ansu Fati or kept it under wraps. Either way, the Barcelona 20-year-old was in Spurs’ crosshairs, so much so a loan deal was all but confirmed.
That was until Brighton swooped in and hijacked the deal, with Roberto De Zerbi instrumental in changing the youngster’s mind.
Levy only has himself to blame. He had a clear path at Orban but decided £30 million was an unreasonable request.
Spurs’ chairman then prioritized Johnson, a player whose price has been set at £50 million for over a month. He tried to haggle, bargain, and find a workaround, all of which to no avail.
After the Orban pursuit cooled, it was either Johnson or bust.
Until Barcelona’s Fati came along, but, as is often the case, Tottenham left it too late. Now that Fati is confirmed Brighton-bound, Tottenham has two days to make a deal hurriedly.
Don’t be surprised if Levy crawls back, meeting Forest’s £50 million demand. The chairman is almost out of time and running on fumes where his options are concerned.
If he doesn’t pony up, Tottenham faces the harsh reality of playing until the winter transfer window opens with one senior striker on the books, who has scored four goals in 39 Tottenham appearances, one in the Premier League, since arriving for £60 million.