Allegedly, half the Tottenham squad is for sale, but it may be a case of loans away rather than Daniel Levy and Mauricio Pochettino making huge changes.
The Telegraph have jumped on comments from Mauricio Pochettino after the game with Schalke this weekend, and speculated that as many as eleven of Tottenham's first team members will be up for sale. Below we will look at why the rest of this transfer window will be more about intelligent fine-tuning of the Spurs squad, rather than wholesale changes.
“We have a long, long squad,” Pochettino said. "I think we need to take a decision now to decide how many players to keep, because we have more than 25.
“For me, too many players. My idea is 25. No more than 25.
“We need to decide now, after our tour in America, and start to work here and decide our squad for the future.”
It is likely the Argentine is concerned about too many players on large contracts yet failing to get enough playing time, as well as the Premier League's 25 man squad rule.
But of the 35 senior players the club have on their books that make up or support the first team, plenty are under the age of 21, and therefore wouldn't need to be registered to play in the Premier League. What is very likely is that these players will go out on loan. Then there are players very much on the outskirts of the first team that are likely to depart, e.g. Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Bongani Khumalo, and Jon Obika.
The likes of Kyle Naughton, Aaron Lennon, Andros Townsend and Sandro have all been mentioned as possible outgoings, among others, as well as signings from last summer like Robeto Soldado, Nacer Chadli, Vlad Chriches and Etienne Capoue.
The problem with the vast majority of these sales would be that they would leave large holes in the Tottenham squad.
Just looking at the current squad, it is feasible to have a group of 23 players that would need to be registered, if you keep in mind Assou-Ekotto and co leaving. Tom Carroll, Ryan Mason and Zeki Fryers may also end up with loan moves with their route to the first team still blocked, though some of the academy players could stay to make up Tottenham's homegrown quota.
If Soldado was to be sold the club would have to bring in at least one top class striker. There is perhaps room for just one winger sale as well as the potential for one centre midfielder to leave. Naughton as well is the only cover the club have at right back, even with news regarding the arrival of DeAndre Yedlin from Seattle Sounders, due to the US international remaining on loan until the start of next season.
A more reasonable approach will be that any players that come in will mean one of the squad members are available. So with Dawson already available, which may or may not depend on how much of a first team option Eric Dier will be at the start of the season, the arrival of Mateo Musacchio would mean another centre back could be for sale. Likewise, if Memphis Depay were to come Chadli may depart as well as another winger, if Schneiderlin were to come one of the central midfielders and so on.
Daniel Levy would surely have learned from the fact that of his seven signings from abroad last summer, very few found their feet quickly.
That would mean that if the club discards any of the above players, they will have to recruit from within the Premier League or run the same risk. And Premier League players, on the most part, are notoriously poorer value for money.
Even though moves for the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez may still be intriguing Spurs, it is very unlikely they would plan such major squad changes so close to the beginning of the season.