Inter Milan refused to let Tottenham have Milan Skriniar on the cheap after Daniel Levy dragged every penny out of the Serie A giants during the Christian Eriksen negotiations, according to Calciomercato.
Sir Alex Ferguson once claimed that dealing with Daniel was more painful than his hip replacement.
And, while Eriksen is yet to go under the knife for that particular procedure, the Dane must have an idea about where the former Manchester United manager was coming from.
Because, during months of drawn out talks which only reached their conclusion on the final day of the January transfer window, Eriksen was given a front row seat to the Levy show.
The Spurs chairman reportedly made it clear from day one that he would not accept less than £18 million for a player who was due to become a free agent just five months later.
Eventually, Inter caved.
But the celebrations were short lived in the Spurs boardroom. Because, when Tottenham came calling later in the year to ask about Skriniar’s availability, Levy was force fed a spoonful of his own medicine.
According to Calciomercato, Inter owner Steven Zhang took a leaf out Spurs’ playbook and made their stance clear; if Tottenham wanted Skriniar, it was either £55 million or nothing.
In the end, of course, ‘nothing’ is what Jose Mourinho got, rather than the Slovakian warhorse of a defender he has admired since his Manchester United days.
Gianluca di Marzio claimed that Skriniar was very much open to the idea of joining Tottenham after falling out of favour under Antonio Conte at the San Siro.
And while some of the criticism that comes Levy’s way can feel a little much at times, you can understand the frustration after another top-class signing slipped through the fingers.
Tottenham Hotspur’s summer signings
£15 million; Southampton
£13 million; Wolves
£25 million; Real Madrid
Loan; Real Madrid
£12 million; Swansea