Premier League

Top 5 Targets: Could Spurs Sign Simeone and Keita Balde?

 • by Andrew Gibney
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Tottenham Hotspur are the only top-five Premier League club yet to make a signing this summer.

That has not stopped the North London club being linked with potential signings right, left and centre, but Daniel Levy has yet to open his chequebook.

After finishing runners-up to Chelsea last season, it looks like it will be a season of fine-tuning for the Mauricio Pochettino, rather than overhauling the squad, like Manchester City and Pep Guardiola.

Using our unique algorithm, Football Whispers ranks those links by their validity, giving them each a score out of five. The higher the score, the more likely the move is to happen.

With that in mind, we’ve picked the five hottest Spurs transfer targets right now and analysed the likelihood of each going ahead.

Spurs top 5 targets

ROSS BARKLEY – EVERTON – 3.8

Everton are holding firm in their stance of wanting £50million for Ross Barkley. In comparison, Arsenal are looking for around £30million for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, a player the same age as the Toffees man, plus, he is also in the last year of his contract.

Arguably, the Everton playmaker has more potential, but perhaps not enough talent to demand nearly double the transfer fee.

The Telegraph report Levy believes that due to the player’s contract situation and the admission from Ronald Koeman that he will go, plus injury issues, his value should have dropped.

As the weeks pass by and the deadline looms closer, Everton’s position of strength weakens, and it could be a great game of chicken, with someone having to flinch first.

On the pitch, Barkley would be a great option in Spurs’ formation, playing beside Dele Alli or Christian Eriksen and giving Mauricio Pochettino another weapon in his attack.

GIOVANNI SIMEONE – GENOA – 3.0

According to Darren Lewis of the Mirror, Spurs are keeping a close eye on Genoa’s Giovanni Simeone. The forward is the son of Atlético Madrid coach Diego Simeone and over the past 12 months in Serie A he has developed into a fearsome No.9.

Pochettino is yet to make a move for the 22-year-old who scored 12 goals in 35 games last season. He could be the perfect back-up to Harry Kane and provide more competition for his place than Vincent Janssen.

However, a large part of his development comes from the number of minutes he’s had and moving to Wembley this season could stunt his growth.

Simeone certainly fits in terms of what Spurs need and with the link between his potential coach and his father, they could hold the advantage, but it depends on what he wants from next season.

KEITA BALDE – LAZIO – 2.3

Keita Blde Diao in action for Lazio

In June it was reported by Il Messaggero that Lazio winger Keita Balde had turned down a move to Spurs. They suggested the two clubs had agreed a fee, but the player wasn’t keen.

Darren Lewis of the Mirror has suggested Spurs have revived their interest but, this time, the 22-year-old has perhaps changed his stance.

With 12 months left of his deal and refusing to sign a new one, a move to Juventus has failed to materialise.

Seen as a replacement for Janssen – if the Dutchman moves to Marseille – the Inter Milan transfer target scored 16 times last season, including eight in his final six games in the season.

MAX MEYER – SCHALKE – 2.3

Max Meyer, Schalke midfielder

Another player on Spurs’ radar this month is 21-year-old German international Max Meyer. Yet again, another target with just 12 months left on his contract, he would be seen as a bargain for Levy.

Playing through the middle, as well as out wide, he scored just once for Schalke last term. In 164 games, he has scored 21 and although still very young, unlike Simeone, he has picked up a lot experience at the highest level.

“I’m completely open on my future. Let’s see what happens. It’s not the case that I will definitely leave Schalke,” he said recently.

“I am really looking forward to the new season and I am happy to be here at Schalke.”

If his contract continues to run down, he will be open to a move and so will the Bundesliga club. They won’t want to lose him on a free, so if Spurs think he has value and a future, he’d be worth a move over the next three weeks.

JOSHUA KING – BOURNEMOUTH – 2.3

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Spurs are in the market for a striker to play a back-up role to Kane and although they are not going to actively dump Janssen after just one season – unless a club offers them an irresistible deal – Pochettino needs more options in attack.

Last month, former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler revealed he had heard Pochettino was in for Cherries striker Joshua King.

“Spurs got lucky last season because Kane only had one injury spell and they did not miss him too much. But if he gets a bad one or struggles, they will need better quality as back-up.

“They will go and spend. There will be a striker coming in – I’ve heard ­Bournemouth’s Josh King is possible – and despite the fact there have been a few misfires in recent years, they have been building a good quality squad.”

After 16 goals in the Premier League last term, the Norway international is a hot commodity.

For Spurs, it’s a move that would make sense, but they would have to convince the player that Champions League football is enough to make up for not starting every game.

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