This time last year, the streets of Cologne were lined with joyous fans, celebrating European qualification for the first time in almost two decades.
Flash forward 12 months, however, and the Billy Goats have been relegated from the Bundesliga after a disastrous season which could hardly be more different from the glory of 2016/17.
And, to make matters worse, Cologne are now set to lose one of their star players, too.
German publication Kicker stated at the start of April that Tottenham Hotspur were considering a shock swoop for winger Leonardo Bittencourt this summer. And a potential move to North London has just moved a step closer due to the fact that the former Dortmund winger’s £7 million relegation clause now comes into effect.
And sporting director Armin Veh has all but admitted that Cologne have accepted that Bittencourt is likely to leave this summer, even if they would love to keep him to spearhead an assault on the 2.Bundesliga next season.
24-year-old Bittencourt is a speedy and direct attacker who has the potential and the versatility to fit into Mauricio Pochettino’s plans in North London.
He has scored five goals and set up three more in the German top flight this season.
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