The agent of Russian striker Artem Dzyuba has revealed that Jose Mourinho wanted to take his client to Tottenham Hotspur in the January of 2020.
Dzyuba has had a long and distinguished career in the Russian top flight, having scored 148 goals in the competition in 390 appearances.
His record since his move to Zenit St Petersburg in 2015 is particularly impressive, with the centre-forward having scored 108 times in 249 appearances for the club (Transfermarkt).
Dzyuba also has an enviable record on the international stage, having found the back of the net 30 times in the 55 caps he has won for Russia.
His agent Leonid Goldman has now revealed that the experienced striker had the chance to move to Tottenham when Harry Kane was out injured two and a half years ago.
Spurs were scouring the market for a replacement after Kane suffered a hamstring injury but the North London club failed to sign a centre-forward during that window and snapped up Steven Bergiwjn from PSV Eindhoven instead.
Goldman has now claimed that Tottenham might have signed Dzyuba if Zenit had not blocked the striker’s move.
He told Sport24: “Early January, I flew away on New Year’s Eve. Lying on the beach, (I received) a call from colleagues from the (Jorge) Mendes agency in Portugal.
“(They said); ‘Kane is broken. Mourinho wants to buy a replacement – Dziuba’. I called Artem. He did not even believe it at first. I said: ‘Everything is extremely serious, go talk to Zenit.’
“The club immediately made it clear that they would not let go of their leader in the middle of the season, so there was no specific documented offer. But the story of Tottenham’s interest is a billion per cent true.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It seems like Spurs were extremely desperate for a striker at the time and scraping the bottom of the barrel. In hindsight, it was the right call to not panic and make an average signing like Krzysztof Piatek (who we were linked with at the time) or Dzyuba, who we would have been stuck with once Kane came back to full fitness.
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