Tottenham Hotspur may be showing their ambition as they are linked with a possible transfer for Nicolo Barella.
According to recent reports in the Italian media, the north London outfit were keen on signing the Inter star over the summer and have not given up on that aim just yet.
However, if Spurs do want to land the midfielder, they will have to challenge their Premier League rivals and be ruthless toward their own players.
TIF has decided to explain what it could all mean…
Rival Liverpool interest
Barella is a top talent, and we know this because Liverpool are also interested in the Italian. Indeed, the Reds have a ‘long-standing’ interest in the Serie A star.
With that in mind, Daniel Levy will have to show great ambition to get this deal across the line amongst such heavy competition for his signature – especially when he could cost somewhere between £75m and £100m.
But if Spurs land Barella, this could be a major blow for Jurgen Klopp’s men – who are known to be in need of a key new midfield signing – and so Antonio Conte’s men could leapfrog them in the league as a result with such a key addition.
Ruthless Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg upgrade
Of course, if Barella was to arrive, it could spell bad news for some players in the squad. The senior midfielders at Spurs are Oliver Skipp, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Yves Bissouma, Rodrigo Bentancur and Pape Matar Sarr.
Adding a potential £75m signing to that lot would surely see one of those players forced out of the team. Seeing as Bissouma and Bentancur have both arrived since last January, Conte clearly hasn’t been entirely happy with his options.
One man who has played regularly in that time is Hojbjerg, who has started all six Premier League games this season – but the Dane hasn’t always impressed.
Indeed, the midfielder has at times been slammed by his own fans and had to be defended last season in the media by Spurs insider John Wenham (via Football Insider). And so, he could yet be the one Barella replaces in the team.
TIF Thoughts on Nicolo Barella and Spurs…
Of course, this isn’t to say Hojbjerg has been woeful. Far from it, as Conte wouldn’t play him so often if he was underperforming. It’s more that Spurs might need to be ruthless if they want to go to the next level.
With that in mind, if Conte and Spurs really want to reach their full potential, they may well have to go big in the transfer market and beat the likes of Liverpool to a key signing such as Barella, while also dropping one of their regulars such as Hojbjerg as a consequence.
So we feel that if they are to pull this off, it would be a pretty big deal for plenty of reasons.