The January transfer window is now open for business, and having already led Tottenham Hotspur back to within touching distance of the Premier League top four, Jose Mourinho will now be tasked with making some important decisions which could dictate how the team fares during the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
One decision, in particular, will have a huge bearing on transfer policy over the coming weeks, both in terms of funds available to spend and regarding the needs of the team, as Mourinho plans ahead for the immediate future with or without Christian Erikson. Indeed, whether he remains or not beyond the January deadline will be central to the club’s transfer activity.
The Christian Eriksen Conundrum
Having already signalled his intent to leave North London last summer, Christian Eriksen seemed destined for a blockbuster move to Real Madrid, although it didn’t happen in the end as the Spanish giants cooled their interest, especially after being quoted prices in excess of £100 million. Given his contract is set to expire at the end of the season and there’s a greater sense of urgency, it’s now a question of when and where regarding the future of the Danish international.
Despite a hugely disappointing campaign for the 27-year-old, there’s unlikely to be a shortage of enquiries. Should he move in the January transfer window, Spurs are expected to demand a £40 million fee according to Metro, who now place Manchester United as favourites for his signature. That said, reports elsewhere suggest the Red Devils seem more likely to play the waiting game, aiming to land him for free in the summer.
After an excellent man-of-the-match display against Norwich City, as Spurs ended 2019 with a 2-2 draw at Carrow Road, there’s still plenty that Eriksen can offer the team. Priced at 2/5 in the latest Premier League betting odds to finish amongst the top four, Tottenham can achieve that objective with the Dane back to his best, focused on helping the team between now and the end of the season. Mourinho has also been positive about his performances.
Nevertheless, any decision regarding the immediate future of Eriksen may well be outside Mourinho’s control. Should a suitable enough offer be presented, Daniel Levy will almost certainly be willing to consider a quick sale, providing any offer matches current valuations and rather than lose the player for nothing in the summer.
The Spanish Replacement Option
Finding a suitable replacement for Eriksen in mid-season would inevitably be a difficult task, one that might arguably be better resolved next summer and with more time to plan accordingly. However, some interesting options have been rumoured of late, and perhaps one of the most appealing is talk of a potential January swap deal for the Danish playmaker.
Although reports in Spain have regularly insisted that Zinedine Zidane wants Paul Pogba at Real Madrid, even though the Frenchman is determined to leave Manchester United, they won’t let him go on the cheap. As such, club president Florentino Perez has remained interested in Eriksen as the alternative option, and January could present him with just the right moment to seal a deal.
Having fallen down the midfield pecking order at Real Madrid since Zidane returned last season, The Express recently highlighted Spanish playmaker Isco as the ideal replacement for Eriksen. While transfer rumours linking 27-year-old Isco with Spurs are by no means anything new, there’s the increased appeal that a straight swap deal would ideally suit both clubs and their objectives during the January transfer window.
Real Madrid would get a player they have coveted for some time, with Tottenham getting a classy attacking midfielder in return and without heavy expenditure for their part. However, Levy and Mourinho won’t have much time to ponder. The Spanish club have apparently offered Isco to Chelsea, with subsequent plans to spend the cash raised on a bid for Eriksen.
If Spurs have any sense of transfer strategy, an Eriksen-Isco swap deal would be the better option that benefits them directly, rather than let a direct Premier League rival gain any advantage within a ripple-effect of potential January moves.