The Standard suggest Spurs could use Townsend as bait in their pursuit of Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie, with their subsequent financial demands realistically pricing Aston Villa out of the market.
Too high a price?
Daniel Levy is a master negotiator but £15m seems a steep asking price even for a shrewd businessman. Indeed, Townsend's obvious flaws are clearly well known to the Spurs coaching staff, hence the desire to sell the winger.
As such, Tottenham would in no way be willing to pay that much for Townsend himself - but then why should they care if there are suitors?
For Aston Villa, though, the asking price is simply not worth paying. If Sherwood is willing to spend that much on a player he likes but has not proven himself in the Premier League by any means, he could be playing with the fate of the side's whole season.
The fact Palace are supposedly demanding £40m for Bolasie, meanwhile, is probably why Tottenham are asking for so much for their winger - especially if they want to use him as 'bait' in their Bolasie pursuit.