How Townsend could hold key to Tottenham’s £14m striker bid

Spurs facing fierce competition to sign Jay Rodriguez but Southampton’s interest in Andros Townsend could give them a major bargaining chip.

If Mauricio Pochettino is serious about bringing Jay Rodriguez to White Hart Lane, then his best chance of completing a deal with Southampton could be by allowing Andros Townsend to move in the opposite direction.

Rodriguez has been valued at around £15 million by the south coast club and while that price tag is unlikely to prove prohibitive to Spurs’ pursuit of the player, they face stiff competition to bring the striker in with Manchester City rumoured to be considering a bid.

The Citizens’s abundance of transfer funds means that Tottenham would most likely miss out in the event of a bidding war between the sides.

But the Lilywhites do have one ace up their sleeves in the form of Andros Townsend.

The England winger was linked with a move to Southampton over the summer as part of a mooted deal that would have seen France international Morgan Schneiderlin move in the opposite direction.

But with that deal failing to come to pass, and Spurs subsequently recruiting a Schneiderlin stand-in in the form of Benjamin Stambouli from Montpellier, Townsend could alternatively be used as a bargaining chip to help Tottenham land Rodriguez.

Southampton would undoubtedly favour any Spurs bid that included a deal for the ex-QPR loan star, with Townsend fitting the mould for young English talent currently encouraged at St Mary’s.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, could be more open to the idea of playing at Tottenham with a manager he has played his best football under in Pochettino.

The question remains as to whether Townsend and his Argentine manager would be keen on such a move with both previously reiterating their desire to keep the winger at White Hart Lane.

A lack of playing time in the coming months could change that perspective, however, with Townsend keen to feature regularly for England – something that will only happen if he is featuring regularly at club level.

Pochettino, meanwhile, may be thin on the ground for attacking options and if Spurs are in a position to challenge for a top four finish, he may just roll the dice on Rodriguez and allow Townsend to go.

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