Which Villarreal and Sevilla players were Tottenham scouting?

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Tottenham scouts were observed at El Madrigal last weekend, as Villarreal took on Sevilla in La Liga.

Villarreal and Sevilla battled for points in La Liga last weekend, the third encounter in a fortnight between the two sides, after the pair competed for a place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

Sevilla emerged victorious once more, with a 2-0 victory away at El Madrigal, but along with the action on the pitch, there were keen eyes in the stands checking out their players, according to El Periódico Mediterráneo last Sunday.

Scouts from Tottenham were reportedly amongst representatives from a number of clubs attending, but who might Spurs have been taking closer look at, over the weekend?

The first name that springs to mind is Sevilla's Colombian striker, Carlos Bacca, who has been strongly linked with interest from Tottenham over recent months. However, as reported by TalkSport, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino insisted there is no interest from his club. So if it wasn't to check out the 28-year-old, which players on display for Villarreal or Sevilla were the focus of attention?

Sevilla Options

Ruling out Carlos Bacca, there are several other players who could be on the Spurs radar, but two in particular stand out as being both likely, and potentially available this summer. Interestingly, they both also belong to Barcelona and are with the Andaluz club on loan: Denis Suarez and Gerard Deulofeu.

During his successful loan spell with Everton during the 2013-14 campaign, Deulofeu gained valuable experience in the Premier League. Whilst his form this season has been a little erratic with Sevilla, it's still clear he's a very talented player who just needs pointing in the right direction.

Denis Suárez is the other Barcelona loan player at Sevilla and he's fared a little better than his counterpart. At 21 years old, he's reached a crucial stage of his development, although his loan deal is currently set at two seasons at the Sánchez-Pizjuan and Barcelona have shown no indication of cutting that short.

The most promising target beyond either of those players, would be Víctor Machín, better known as 'Vitolo'. The 25-year-old received his first ever Spain call this week, which is both fully deserved and a genuine reflection of how superbly he's performed this season.

Vitolo plays mainly on the left flank and it's his overall work-rate and team work that stand out the most. His passing accuracy is constantly over 80% and he's also netted nine goals this season, which along with being good numbers for a winger, were also during crucial moments in games.

Would Sevilla sell Vitolo? Well, they'll want to keep him, but in the business of football the Andaluz club would be willing to negotiate. He currently has a deal until 2017 with a release clause of €20 million (just under £15m). Amidst interest elsewhere from Napoli and Atletico Madrid according recent speculation from TMW, Sevilla are also keen to improve his contract. Tottenham could lure Vitolo away though, with the offer of riches he couldn't possibly earn with his current club.

Villarreal Options

One man who has been linked in the past with interest from Tottenham, is Argentine centre-back Mateo Musacchio. Given he has a release clause valuation of €50 million and Villarreal president Fernando Roig won't negotiate for a cent less, it's unlikely he's going anywhere soon.

The player causing the most speculation at the moment is Argentine forward, Luciano Vietto, who has been in great form this season for Villarreal and opted for a move to them, instead of Valencia. If Tottenham are looking for attacking reinforcements this summer, then he's certainly a potential target, but there will be strong competition, with Real Madrid and Liverpool also keeping a close eye on the highly talented 21-year-old, according to the Liverpool Echo.

There's a wealth of home-grown quality at Villarreal, with youngsters such as left-back Adrián Marín, midfielder Sergio Marcos, winger Moi Gómez, or striker Gerard Moreno, who could also be catching the eye of Spurs, but all are perhaps more suited to staying in La Liga, than making a jump to the Premier League just yet.

Given reports in the Telegraph over the weekend of Pochettino lamenting Tottenham's defensive frailties against Leicester City, with Villarreal's centre-back Musacchio perhaps too expensive an option, one of his central defensive partners could offer a good alternative, and one the Argentine coach knows very well.

Currently on loan at Villarreal from Valencia, 26-year-old Víctor Ruíz has performed admirably this season, making the most of regular starting options he wasn't getting enough of at the Mestalla. Pochettino played a huge part in his development as a player, when he relied heavily on the centre-back during his managerial spell with Espanyol.

If a defensive reinforcement is on the agenda for Spurs this summer, then Pochettino moving for Víctor Ruíz would possibly be a risk-free option in his eyes. Unless Villarreal intend on making a permanent move, Tottenham could grab themselves a bargain, as it's unlikely he'll feature in the future plans of Valencia.

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