A report in the Daily Mail yesterday claimed that Tottenham Hotspur were ready to arm Mauricio Pochettino with a £60m transfer kitty to turn his young side into Premier League title winners.
Here, CaughtOffside identifies five players who Spurs should be looking to target with their money…
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Michy Batshuayi (Marseille)
What Tottenham need most desperately is a striker who can cover for, or play alongside Harry Kane, and the Daily Mail understands that Marseille’s Belgian international Batshuayi is on Pochettino’s radar.
As Sky Sports reports, Marseille’s interim manager Franck Passi expects Batshuayi to leave this summer, and Tottenham’s place in the Champions League gives them an edge over rivals West Ham United.
Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion)
One forward might not be enough for Spurs. Their return to the Champions League means that Tottenham need to add depth to their squad, which they badly lack in attacking positions at present.
West Brom’s Berahino is a long-term target. According to The Guardian, Spurs had four bids rejected for the forward last summer, but are poised to finally get their hands on the 22-year-old in the summer.
Virgil van Dijk (Southampton)
Signing Van Dijk at the end of the season will not be easy – the Dutchman has just signed a new six-year contract and Southampton must stop selling key players eventually if they are to sustain their rise.
But the 24-year-old is the centre-back that Spurs should be targeting to complete their unit of four. Tottenham have the best defensive record in the Premier League this term, but Van Dijk is quick, strong and exceptional on the ball, and could be a step up on Jan Vertonghen with another year’s experience.
Lewis Cook (Leeds United)
What Pochettino has done so well during his two years at White Hart Lane is identify top young English talent and develop them at rapid speed. There is no reason for him to divert from this policy.
Leeds midfielder Cook fits the bill. The 19-year-old was recently crowned the Football League’s Young Player of the Year for 2015-16, an award won by Dele Alli last year. And look where he is now…
Michael Carrick (Manchester United)
The age and hunger of Tottenham’s squad is one of its strengths, but it was also exposed as a weakness in the title run-in, when a lack of experience arguably cost them games against West Brom and Chelsea.
An older head or two could balance out the squad nicely, and Carrick becoming available on a free transfer is an opportunity that is too good to turn down for Spurs, and several other top-flight clubs.
The veteran will be 35 by the start of next season, but has arguably been Manchester United’s best midfielder this season. Yet the Red Devils have not offered him a new contract, writes The Mirror.
Some Spurs fans may still hold a grudge against Carrick for leaving for Old Trafford in 2006, but he would be a shrewd signing, with the likes of Tom Carroll and Ryan Mason perhaps facing the chop.
Carrick and Cook would not cost much between them, so Tottenham might be able to get the other three players for inside their reported £60m budget, with some strong Daniel Levy negotiating skills!
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