A few years ago, there was little more riding on Tottenham Hotspur versus Chelsea than local pride and bragging rights. These days, however, the all-capital clash is one of the most hotly anticipated games in the Premier League season with both sides fighting at the top end of the table.
The animosity has not been eased by a number of transfer window flashpoints in recent years, notably Chelsea nabbing Willian from under Spurs nose and Mauricio Pochettino’s side repeating the trick with Fernando Llorente this summer.
And with talented Rennes defender Joris Gnagnon admitting that he rejected that chance to join Antonio Conte’s Premier League champions during the transfer window, reports in the Sunday People (24 September page 47) that he is still a target for Spurs could prove to be the beginning of another intriguing transfer saga.
"If I went to Chelsea right away, I was not sure I would be playing,” the France Under-20 international, who also admitted to turning down Dortmund for the same reason, said in quotes reported by The Sun.
"I weighed up the pros and cons with my entourage and my agent and we thought that it was better to do one more season at Rennes. It was not easy but we had to make a choice."
However, it remains to be seen whether the £14 million-rated 20-year-old would be more open to a move to Tottenham than London rivals Chelsea.
After all, The Blues are hardly renowned for giving youth a chance, selling Nathan Ake to Bournemouth and loaning Kurt Zouma to Stoke City despite the duo being two of Europe’s most promising up-and-coming centre-halves.
However, you could not accuse Spurs, or Pochettino, for ignoring the value of youth, splashing out £42 million on 21-year-old Ajax star Davinson Sanchez this summer (BBC).
Could Gnagnon join him in North London?