Tottenham have reportedly been tracking Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez since last season, but any summer interest dissolved when the Englishman ruptured his cruciate knee ligaments in April.
The 25-year-old is still on the road to recovery, and Southampton, who are keen to keep their star at St Mary’s Stadium, are said to have offered him a five-year contract. Despite this, Spurs have retained their interest, and it is being reported by the Mirror that the Saints would be willing to sell Rodriguez, in return for Harry Kane and Andros Townsend as part of a player-plus-cash deal for the forward.
The North London duo have been bit-part players for new head coach Mauricio Pochettino since his arrival, and, although Kane’s goalscoring in the Europa League and League Cup has caught the attention, he still has just one Premier League goal to his name this term. Townsend has started just one league game, with four substitute appearances, and the 23-year-old looks to be on the market in the January transfer window.
It is a surprise to see the Saints keen on the two attacking men, with their back-up roles at Spurs not showing them off as potential stars, but, with the success of the Southampton scouting team, maybe it would be wise for Tottenham to keep hold of Kane and Townsend.
Head of Recruitment Paul Mitchell, who is set to move to White Hart Lane in the coming weeks, must have seen something in the Englishmen that has piqued his interest, and his first job at Spurs should be telling the club that they have the potential to be stars in the future.
While Southampton would rue losing Rodriguez, the scouting team must believe that Kane and Townsend are good enough to replace his departure, and with dreams of European qualification, it would be a surprise to see the Saints targeting players who could not perform at the top level. For the Lilywhites, the question is asked of why they would be willing lose their homegrown talents in favour of a player who is considered expendable by the team they are attempting to emulate.
When Mitchell does finally start working at Tottenham, it looks as if he will have a lot of work to do in the search for success in North London. If he wants to get off to a good start, he would be wise to convince the club that Kane and Townsend should not be used in exchange for Rodriguez, with his keen eye for talent obviously noticing something in the duo that has so far been overlooked.