Spanish newspaper El Confidencial has offered Tottenham Hotspur a tiny glimmer of hope over making a move for Valencia defender Jeremy Mathieu.
Mathieu has been identified by Barcelona boss Luis Enrique as a player to come into his squad on the left hand side of defence, to help fill the void created by Carles Puyol’s decision not to play on at the club.
Barca were thought to be lining up a €15 million move for the Frenchman but a report in El C this morning suggests that things aren’t going according to plan for the Nou Camp side.
“The plan was to introduce Jeremy Mathieu as a new Barca player but the resistance from Valencia means the truth is unknown – The €15 million with was intended to sign the player does not seem sufficient,” reports El C.
“The tactic of waiting and not training with the rest of the group (Valencia teammates) has not worked.”
Valencia returned to pre-season training last weekend and Mathieu was not present, which fuelled speculation that a move to Barca for the player was close.
If the sole reason for the delay is a disagreement over price then Tottenham are in a great position to hijack a deal, if they can convince Mathieu that White Hart Lane is where he should be playing his football.
Spurs are in a good position to offer a competitive fee alongside Barcelona, but it comes down to how much the player wants to stay in La Liga and in particular, how much he wants to play for Luis Enrique.
However, there’s no guarantee that Valencia would be more willing to do business with Spurs just because they don’t present a direct threat to the club and Barca have already proved this summer, they can pull off a difficult deal as they did in signing Luis Suarez from Liverpool.
Tottenham’s hunt for a left-back continues and despite Danny Rose’s position in the current squad, it’s an area which Pochettino needs to improve looking ahead to next season.