Alasdair Gold has revealed that Tottenham Hotspur could make a move for Lyon’s Lucas Paqueta or Leicester City’s James Maddison if they are not able to snap up Christian Eriksen this summer.
It was previously predicted that Tottenham were battling Brentford for Eriksen’s signature, with the Dane thought to be keen on remaining in London (Journalist Carsten Werge on Sky Sports).
This week, it emerged that Manchester United were also keen on snapping up the 30-year-old, with the Red Devils allegedly eyeing the player as an alternative to Frenkie de Jong, who is said to remain their top target (The Athletic).
Eriksen told Danish publication BT this week that he is yet to decide where he will be playing next season and admitted he is finding the decision to be ‘hard’.
Gold has now revealed that the midfielder still has a big affection for Spurs and has a good relationship with Antonio Conte.
The journalist said in a Q&A on Football.London in response to a question about Tottenham’s pursuit of Eriksen: “The decision is now down to the Dane.
“He’s got multiple offers to mull over and he’s already said that he’s not going to rush his decision as it has to be the right one for him and his family.
“I was told towards the end of the season that he was keen to remain in London and that would certainly appear to favour Spurs and perhaps Brentford.
“He still has a big affection for Tottenham even if I understand he didn’t leave the club on the best of terms with the hierarchy two and a half years ago.
“Then there’s the Conte factor with the Italian knowing him well and starting him on a regular basis in the second half of Inter’s title-winning season.
“If Eriksen trusts that he can handle Conte’s physical demands then it’s a move – and a free one – that makes sense for Spurs as it allows the head coach to switch to a 3-5-2 whenever he wants.
“This is not the Eriksen that left the club either. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then.
“There is also the Manchester United interest of course and it will be interesting to see whether the chance to play on the biggest stage with Spurs in the Champions League lures him back or whether he wants another new challenge.”
Gold added that Paqueta and Maddison are other options that Spurs could consider if a deal for Eriksen falls through but he admitted that it would be difficult to get the latter out of the King Power Stadium.
He added: “If he decides against Spurs then, among others, the club have also been looking at Lyon’s Brazil international Lucas Paqueta, a player Newcastle tried to sign earlier this year. The versatile 24-year-old can play in an attacking midfield role, centrally or on the right and can also play up front when required.
“When it comes to homegrown options, Tottenham have long held an interest in Leicester star James Maddison, having considered signing him before his move to the Foxes and he is now in the last two years of his contract, but I’d think that’s a tough deal to do.”
Spurs Web Opinion
I am not surprised that Spurs seem to be patiently waiting on Eriksen’s decision before turning their attention to other targets. Not only is the 30-year-old available on a free transfer and Premier League proven but he is also well-versed with Conte’s system.
I do not think the number eight we sign this summer is guaranteed to be a regular starter as I expect Conte to stick with his 3-4-3 formation. That is why it is difficult to imagine Spurs shelling out the money it would take to sign Maddison.
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