Could Tottenham re-sign defender Steven Caulker if Cardiff suffer relegation?
Steven Caulker's stock continues to rise thanks to his call-up to England's squad for next week's friendly with Denmark, making Tottenham's decision to let him go last summer look increasingly perplexing.
The centre-back was sold to Cardiff City for £8 million, less than 12 months after being hailed as the next Ledley King, with Andre Villas-Boas putting his faith instead in Michael Dawson, a player he tried to offload to QPR a year earlier.
From the long-term perspective, Caulker would have been a far better bet, with the player proving an early hero for Cardiff City by scoring the winner in the derby against Swansea earlier in the season.
But could Tottenham yet re-sign the defender in the summer?
His availability will certainly come into question if Cardiff City suffer relegation, which at present they are on course for. They sit in 19th place with the second worst goal difference in the division, ahead of only Fulham on both counts.
There is still time for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's side to turn it around, and the newly installed boss will surely hope his hard work starts clicking into results sooner rather than later. If Cardiff do survive, then Caulker's future in Wales will likely not be a talking point.
Yet if they are relegated, then there is potential for Tottenham to move back for him. With the manager who sold him gone, Tim Sherwood or whomever is Spurs boss at the time may just decide they take a liking to him and want to bring him back.
His sale caused much consternation among Spurs fans, who could not understand why a talented defender was being sold off so cheaply, with concern it was a deal done for cash-flow reasons to aid their own pursuits of signings such as Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela.
Caulker has today been linked with a surprise deal to Liverpool by The Telegraph, where he would link back up with Brendan Rodgers who he played under at Swansea on loan. Spurs will not want the player who came through their academy to land up at one of their rivals for Champions League places, and that themselves could push them to consider bringing him back.
One thing which could hold Tottenham back from bidding, is Daniel Levy's eye for a bargain. Would the self-styled tough negotiator willingly pay for than £8 million for a player he sold 12 months earlier?
If Caulker goes to the World Cup and impresses, and interest from Liverpool drives his price up, Spurs may not have a choice but to pay more if they want to bring him back.
Re-signing Caulker would right a wrong decision made by Andre Villas-Boas, and even if they had to take a financial loss on this one, in the long-term making a move to re-sign the young talent may just be the best move for the club.
image: © joncandy