Reports emerged from both France and England on Friday night claiming that Olympique de Marseille midfielder Andre Ayew could be set to sign a pre-contract agreement with Tottenham Hotspur.
Ayew, a free agent in the summer, has reportedly been a target for a number of English sides over the past couple of seasons and, if reports from Le10Sport are to be believed, Spurs could win the battle for the Ghana international's signature.
It must be brought into consideration that none of the big, more reliable French sites have picked up on this story and one must proceed with caution.
Marseille find themselves in a strange situation this winter. They know they can’t really afford to extend the contracts of both Ayew and his team-mate Andre-Pierre Gignac.
In a normal season, the side coached by Marcelo Bielsa would have most likely sold either or both players and cashed in before letting them leave for free.
However, with Marseille starting Week 20 on top of the table, there is a genuine chance they could go on to lift Le Championnat over great rivals Paris Saint-Germain.
Marseille can’t afford to let either player leave before the end of the season: doing so would take away any chance of keeping pace at the top of the league.
Keeping both Ayew and Gignac may mean they don’t make anything from either player in the summer, therefore, but it could be the tonic they need to win the league title. That leaves any potential Tottenham move in the balance.
Ayew is currently representing Ghana at the African Cup of Nations; he will be a huge loss for Marseille and has played well this season on the left of Bielsa’s 4-2-3-1 formation.
This term, in the 14 games he has started, Ayew has scored three goals and contributed two assists, plus he has been an integral part of helping Marseille take on Bielsa’s new philosophy.
Ayew turned 25 in December and could still see his future at Marseille if he signed a new deal. It would all depend on where the team finish and how Gignac’s future is decided.
There is no chance OM could keep both and perhaps it is up to Bielsa which one he deems most important to his system. Ayew has played 169 games in Ligue 1, with 40 goals to his name.
If he does want to move on a free transfer, whoever wins his signature is recruiting an excellent player with ability to contribute all over the attack and he could easily be a star in the Premier League. Tottenham, meanwhile, are in need of a striker...