North London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal are set to battle it out over this summer transfer window in pursuit of two targets. Attacking midfielders Riyad Mahrez and Ross Barkley have both been the subject of interest from both clubs.
Ross Barkley has been a long-term target of Tottenham, and reports at the weekend suggested that Pochettino and Levy wanted a deal completed by the time the squad set off for their pre-season tour of America. Well, Spurs have now touched down in Orlando and there is no sign of Barkley, who is still very much an Everton player.
Other reports suggested that Barkley demanded wages of £150,000-per-week if he were to join Spurs, making him the highest paid player at the club. However, we later learned that these claims were ‘untrue’. Today, the London Evening Standard report that Arsenal are also interested in making a move for the Englishman.
It has been almost inevitable that Barkley will be sold this summer after not signing a new deal with the Merseyside club. But what is becoming increasingly unlikely is that he will be sold for Everton’s asking price of £50m. It is worth noting that both Spurs are Arsenal are confident that they can get deals over the line for £25-30m.
Barkley is not the only player that Spurs and Arsenal could do battle for over the summer. Riyad Mahrez has been the subject of much interest from Arsenal in particular since last summer, when they came desperately close to signing the Algerian winger. They have registered their interest yet again this summer after Mahrez said that he will be leaving Leicester this summer.
According to the London Evening Standard in a separate report, Spurs have now asked Leicester to keep them informed of the Riyad Mahrez situation if other clubs submit a bid as they are interested in securing his services at some point during this summer transfer window.
Like Barkley, Leicester are asking for around £50m for Mahrez, which at the moment is putting clubs off making a move and the Foxes might have to lower their asking price if they are to cash-in on the want-away winger.
Although I am more than unsure about Barkley and how he would fit in at Spurs and whether he is worth the investment, Mahrez’s talent is there for all to see. He would be a brilliant addition to the squad in terms of attacking options and if Daniel Levy can get a deal over the line for Mahrez it would truly be an excellent signing.