Juan Foyth

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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Gotze to Everton, Grealish to Man United

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You think the Jack Grealish incident this past week would stop Manchester United from pursuing the Aston Villa playmaker? Think again.

According to Paul Joyce of The Times, Grealish “is expected to arrive [at Manchester United] from Aston Villa to add competition to the midfield.”

While the Grealish to Manchester United rumors are nothing new, it is notable that they still persist even in the aftermath of his embarrassing decision to leave his house during the coronavirus lockdown. Manchester United could be on the hook for nearly $100 million should they pursue Grealish this summer, and they will want to know their investment won’t be put at risk in situations like this again.

Still, Grealish has had a fantastic season before the shutdown and Manchester United could use a central playmaker to pull the strings. While Joyce’s writeup seems to suggest that Grealish would have work to do to earn a place in the Manchester United team, he would likely find himself as the only true attacking midfielder outside of fellow new signing Bruno Fernandes in the entire squad. The position has little depth at Old Trafford and Grealish is certainly a much-needed investment.

Everton is also searching for playmaking ability as well as a goalscoring mindset, and Borussia Dortmund forward Mario Gotze could be the answer. According to German publication Sport Bild, Gotze could be headed to Everton this summer, although they will have competition for the former World Cup winner.

The 27-year-old sees his contract expire this summer at Dortmund, and he has seen decreased playing time this season thanks to the explosion of Jadon Sancho plus the arrival of Erling Haaland and the improvement of both Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard. Gotze has found himself the odd man out in that attacking group, and Everton could snag him on a free transfer this summer. The Sport Bild report names West Ham, Borussia Monchengladbach, and AC Milan as other possibilities, but suggests that Gotze would need to take a pay cut from his current $11 million a year salary to open up the list a bit.

Finally, Tottenham could usher one of its young players out the door as Juan Foyth has voiced his frustrations with a lack of playing time under Jose Mourinho. The 22-year-old, who arrived from Argentine club Estudiantes in 2017, told Argentinian publication TNT that he would like to leave London if he did not see an increase in playing time.

“If I am going to have opportunities here, I will be very comfortable,” Foyth said of his current situation at Spurs. “And if they won’t count on me, the best thing will be to find another club. I would like to stay in Europe, all leagues have a high level. My wish is to play at the highest level as long as I can. The main thing is to play.”

Foyth has seen just 65 minutes of Premier League action this entire season and has not been included in the matchday squad for any league game since the start of January. Foyth’s time has taken an even bigger hit thanks to the emergence of young Japhen Tanganga, lowering the already limited amount of squad space that Foyth had between center-back and right-back.

Transfer rumor roundup: Piatek to Spurs, Lookman to Newcastle

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Transfer rumors, am I right?

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The Times reports that Tottenham Hotspur is getting aggressive in a bid to ease its center forward woes.

AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek has been linked with Premier League suitors Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, and Aston Villa, but Spurs will reportedly make a bid.

Piatek, 24, will command around $30 million and may be willing to leave Milan after the club signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

He has four goals in 18 matches this season but collected 30 between Milan and Genoa last season, his first in Italy. Milan reportedly beat Newcastle to his signature last January.

Speaking of Newcastle, the Magpies may be a medical away from getting help in attack.

Ademola Lookman has not been getting many minutes for RB Leipzig after a big summer buy, and several reports say he wants to come back to England.

Lookman was fantastic in a loan campaign to Leipzig two seasons ago, but failed to impress under Marco Silva back at Everton and was sold to Leipzig for close to $30 million.

Newcastle would loan the ex-Everton man with an option to buy according to Sky Sports and others, though local paper The Chronicle says there’s nothing cooking yet.

Back to Spurs, Football.London cites Di Marzio that Christian Eriksen’s representatives are headed to Italy to talk with Inter Milan. The same publication says Juan Foyth would like to leave Spurs, quoting his agent as “evaluating the possibility” of departing in January.

Pochettino expects Dele Alli to miss start of season

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Dele Alli looks unlikely to be fit for the start of the Premier League season on Saturday versus Aston Villa, as his hamstring is a problem yet again.

The attacker missed two months last season with a hamstring problem, the latest in a long line of them.

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Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino spoke at Spurs’ 1-1 draw with Inter Milan on Sunday, via Metro, and admitted that Dele’s hamstring worries are a real concern:

“I don’t know if the club communicate the time but I don’t believe he’s going to be ready for the start of the season,” he said. “It’s the same area. Yes, of course we are worried. He’s still so young. Just 23-years-old and many, many hamstring problems in the last few years.”

Dele scored seven goals with eight assists in around 3,000 minutes last season, a marked step back from his previous two seasons (14 and 16 in about 3,700 minutes and 22 and 13 in approximately 4,000).

Pochettino also said Juan Foyth, his rumored starting right back, could be out for “many weeks” and added that Serge Aurier, Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier have work to do to be ready for the season.

Foyth’s injury looms large over Spurs’ window, start of season

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File this one under Statements No One Expected to Make Right Now, or Ever: the impending diagnosis of Juan Foyth‘s ankle injury could shape the final days of Tottenham Hotspur’s transfer window, as well as their first few months of the 2019-20 Premier League season.

[ MORE: Arsenal sign winger Nicolas Pepe for $87 million ]

After Kieran Trippier was transferred to Atletico Madrid last month, no replacement was signed for last season’s regular starter at right back — surprise! — which now appears due to the fact Mauricio Pochettino had said replacement already in the first-team squad: Foyth, a 21-year-old defender/defensive midfielder who’s been at the club for two seasons but made just 12 PL appearances (all last season).

Foyth gobbled up the lion’s share of the minutes at right back during preseason and acquitted himself quite well. He appeared the favorite to start over Serge Aurier, even in the rare event the Frenchman is fit and available. Then came a potentially serious ankle ligament injury during Wednesday’s friendly against Bayern Munich. Foyth was stretchered off the field and the club awaits word on the severity of the injury.

[ MORE: Dybala excused from Juventus training until transfer saga is resolved ]

Of all the positions on the field, right back is perhaps the one position in which Tottenham couldn’t afford any long-term injuries, and here they find themselves before the new season even kicks off. Aurier is as unreliable for fitness and form as they come, and Kyle Walker-Peters has been a promising prospect for a few years now but has thus far failed to make his mark on anything.

Right back was very plainly singled out as Spurs’ weak point last season, before letting Trippier leave. If Foyth is to miss any prolonged period of time — meaning more than the season’s opening month — Spurs could find themselves needlessly dropping points once again and all but precluding themselves from a legitimate title challenge before the air turns crisp and the leaves change colors.

Reports: Kieran Trippier flies to Spain for Atletico Madrid medical

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According to a host of reports across England including Sky Sports, The Telegraph, and The Guardian, Tottenham defender Kieran Trippier is flying to Spain for a medical ahead of a move to Atletico Madrid.

This transfer has expedited extremely rapidly over the last 12 to 24 hours, with nearly all reports connecting the two parties coming out today.

According to the reports, a base fee of $25 million has been agreed upon with add-ons on top of that, as Atletico Madrid looks to replace the retiring Juanfran. The medical seems to be a preemptive measure, with work seemingly still to do on the transfer, as Sky says the deal could be completed “by the weekend.”

Trippier, a 28-year-old England international who started for his country at the World Cup last summer, has three years left on his Tottenham contract. Trippier’s emergence saw him mentioned alongside the best right-backs in the league, but at times last season defensive flaws were exposed despite the club’s title chase and run to the Champions League final. Towards the end of last season, young Juan Foyth at times was preferred in the back-three.

All the reports state that Trippier is not expected to travel with the team to Singapore on Wednesday for the club’s preseason tour.

Tottenham still has Serge Aurier and Kyle Walker-Peters to take over at Trippier’s right-back position, but there would be some work needed in that regard. Trippier was molded from a natural right-back into a center-back option as part of a back-three both at the club and international level, and it doesn’t seem like the two remaining options would be able to fit that role. Aurier is a marauding wing-back with more attacking ability than defensive, while Walker-Peters is a 22-year-old who can dribble but has shown inconsistent defensive abilities and at this point struggles in the air and crossing.

Instead, should Pochettino stay with a three-CB formation, Foyth would likely start over either those two at the back given his versatility and sharp rise through both the club and international ranks. Foyth impressed enough this summer at the Copa America that he could even get looks at center-back or right-back in a traditional defensive setup.