Date: 9th July 2014 at 8:53am
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With the squad now back in pre-season training, I thought I’d take the opportunity to update my original ‘Transfer Activity Outlook’ article in early June under the headings raised in that article:

(1) Possible Key Player Exodus: Based on last week’s reported developments, Sandro’s departure to Naples seems to have been kiboshed with Spurs bumping up his transfer fee to a blocking level of 25m Euros (£20m), suggesting that we’re no longer prepared to let him leave, and implying that he is both disposed to signing a new contract and is also on Poch’s ‘stay’ list. The other concern is Lloris, who despite stating his willingness to stay, is also being spoken of as a possible departure to PSG: the ITK-vine says we’ll consider selling him – but only for ‘silly money`.

(2) The Clearout Exodus: On the sales front, Livermore & Gomes are gone and it seems that Dawson is on his way; I’m unaware of BAE’s status, other than he has a year left on his contract, while Brad has signed up for another year, doubling up as a club Ambassador; and Siggi is also on the exit list. ITKs say Poch wants to see players in training before deciding who goes.

(3) The Recruitment Drive: In the LB area, while the signing of Ben Davies protracts and possibly cools, the name Faouzi Ghoulam (Naples) crept into the picture over the weekend, and it remains to be seen whether he’s a Naples proposal to help make up the £20m to buy Sandro; our RB interest has moved to Aurier (Toulouse); at CB, Moreno (Espanyol) broke a leg in a recent WC match & Lovren’s ‘head is already (elsewhere)’ so we’ve moved on to Lascelles and the 5′ 11′ Veltman(Ajax).

In MF. I’m going to ignore the Cambiasso rumours and point out that Poch wants Brozovic (Dynamo Zagreb), a young creative MF, which I think reflects the fact that we had no back-up for Eriksen last season and therefore have a gap in the squad.

Up front, getting Remy looks like a toss-up, and we’ve moved on from our interest in Bony & Lukaku (although an un-named Metro reporter thinks otherwise), but we’ve yet to throw in the towel on signing Origi (Lille) and we’re also considering the Liege striker Imoh Ezekiel.

On the left wing, our interest in the PSV wing duo Memphis Depay & Zakaria Bakkali is unlikely to develop further till after the WC, while we retain our interest in Yacine Brahimi (Granada) Its also clear that we’re looking for a back-up GK, with Karl Darlow (Forest) a big favourite for the role among many clubs in the Top 6, and we’re also looking at Michel Vorn (Swansea).

Finally, I’m unsure whether our interest in a RB is exploratory – a contingency to cover off the risk of a longer-term Walker injury – or real, and therefore whether the relative inactivity is due to an inability to free up a defensive slot to proceed with a deal.

In summary, the focus of our recruitment drive this summer is clearly on a LB, a CB, a LWF, at least 1, if not 2 FWDs, a creative MF & a back-up GK – thats up to 7 recruits, or a minimum of 4 recruits (if Holtby fills creative MF slot, Archer fills back-up GK role, & we only recruit 1 FWD). Given that Poch wants to see players in training before deciding who goes, signings are likely to be slow this summer, and consequently we could miss out on key targets.

Written by RathgarSpur