Tottenham are widely expected to reinvest in their squad this summer, with every likelihood that a number of new faces will move to White Hart Lane at the end of the current campaign.
Spurs look likely to miss out on Champions League football again this term, with any potential additions in the off-season charged with inspiring the club back into Europe’s top tournament.
A report in Spanish newspaper Deia has stated that the North London club is keeping a close eye on Athletic Bilbao, with a trio of the Basque club’s players of interest.
Apparently Aymeric Laporte, Iker Muniain and Ander Herrera are all potential targets for Spurs this summer if the report is to be believed – but are the trio the type of players Tottenham should be targeting and what are the chances of actually signing them?
The 19-year-old defender has been catching the eye of European scouts since breaking into the Bilbao team in 2012 and has become an integral part of the side’s back four of late.
Only the second-ever French player to step out for the strictly Basque outfit, the centre-half has represented his nation’s under-21 side on three occasions.
A virtual ever-present in the San Mames’ side’s defence this season, tentative links to Manchester United appeared in the tabloids earlier this season.
The strong defender would certainly fit the bill in the heart of the Tottenham rearguard, but Daniel Levy will need to splash the cash to get him.
He has a release clause of €36 million in his contract and although he may be allowed to leave for less, Bilbao will not let him go lightly.
The talented attacking midfielder shot into the limelight a couple of years ago with dazzling displays for Bilbao and Spanish age-grade levels but has gone off the boil slightly in recent times after initial hype labeling him the ‘Spanish Messi’.
Still an incredibly gifted technical player, Muniain operates predominantly from the left wing, has an eye for a killer pass and contributes a handful of goals himself.
Still only 21, the playmaker has one senior Spain cap but has predominantly been part of the successful under-21 side, winning two European Championships at that level.
Not a stranger to transfer rumblings, Muniain is another star that would cost an arm and a leg to lure away from San Mames. If Spurs could do it, they would have a real star to fill that troublesome left wing berth.
Another player admired by United, David Moyes’ men were thought to be close to landing the creative midfielder last summer before negotiations broke down.
The 24-year-old has got on with his business at Bilbao since and continues to exude an air of confidence and assurance while in possession of the football.
Again undoubtedly gifted, Herrera is the heartbeat of Bilbao’s possession game and a player tipped to replace the likes of Xavi in the Spain national side in years to come.
A superb player, Spurs would certainly be landing a real star if they signed Herrera.
However, with the likes of Christian Eriksen and Mousa Dembele in the Tottenham squad already, Herrera should not be a priority as he plays in a similar position.
Herrera is a tremendous player but too similar to what Spurs have already got, and as such the North Londoners would be wise not to blow a significant amount of their transfer budget on him.
Laporte and Muniain would be exceptional signings given their age and ability and would also fit into two areas that Spurs need improving – centre-back and left wing.
However, to land the duo would take the bulk of €50 million and more, as Bilbao’s transfer restrictions mean they are always reluctant to let their prize assets leave on the cheap.