Tottenham will be back in business in the transfer market this summer with Mauricio Pochettino chasing a series of signings — but the club accept Christian Eriksen is likely to leave.
After two transfer windows without signing a player, the north London
club are expecting to trade significantly. Tottenham will sign up to five players — a left back, central defender and centre forward among the positions they are keen to strengthen.
The incomings, however, will be offset by outgoings amid growing fears the club will lose centre half Toby Alderweireld and midfielder Eriksen at the end of the season.
Eriksen enters the final 12 months of his deal this summer, with no resolution over an extension in sight. Tottenham would prefer to sell the Dane, 27, rather than lose him for nothing next year, with Real Madrid among the clubs interested in the playmaker.
Tottenham are virtually powerless to prevent Alderweireld, 30, from leaving due to a £26million release clause. The fee will not prove a stumbling block towards his exit, given his status as one of Europe's best central defenders.
Danny Rose, Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen are among the other players who could leave. But it is the possibility of fresh faces to herald the club's first full season in their new stadium that will excite fans. And identifying targets is well underway.
Scouts continue to monitor Aston Villa's Jack Grealish after failing to land the midfielder last summer, while Hull's Jarrod Bowen has been watched extensively.
Valencia's Carlos Soler is also on Spurs' radar. Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha is a long-term target — but there is resignation at Tottenham that the winger is now out of their price range.
Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic has been considered as a possible understudy to Harry Kane, but there is doubt over whether the Serb would come to Tottenham knowing he'll play intermittently.
Publicly, Pochettino has refused to complain about the club's lack of activity in the transfer market over the past 12 months.
But behind the scenes there is frustration from the Argentine over the lack of urgency in trying to strengthen his squad.
However, the expectancy level is such at Tottenham that the club are planning a sizeable summer spend to encourage Pochettino.
After taking just a point from their last four games, Tottenham have slipped out of the title race and are now in a fight to keep their top-four position. They remain in the Champions League.
And the club have grown more confident in recent weeks that Pochettino will stay for at least another season.
The return of Zinedine Zidane as Real Madrid manager, combined with the expectancy Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be made permanent Manchester United manager, means Pochettino now looks likely to stay with Spurs.
And Tottenham will provide their highly-rated manager with money to build upon the success he has already brought to the club.