Tottenham Hotspur’s long-running pursuit of Mateo Musacchio bears all the hallmarks of a move that will crumble into dust just before the deadline, with third-party complications muddying the waters.
Considering their history of fluffing moves with such difficulties – Joao Moutinho and Leandro Damiao say hi – Spurs would perhaps be wise to move on from the Villarreal man quickly.
Risking it all on the Argentine could see Mauricio Pochettino in the awkward position of having to field one of Michael Dawson and Younes Kaboul most weeks, the results of which weren’t pretty last season.
Fortunately for Spurs, drifting onto the market place at the perfect time is Manchester City defender Matija Nastasic, surplus to requirements after the Citizens signed Eliaquim Mangala.
Despite being only 21, Nastasic already possesses a solid chunk of Premier League experience, not to mention a winner’s medal, and is reportedly available for around £16m.
That’s a similar fee, if not slightly less, than Spurs are mooted to have offered for Musacchio and this deal would be free from the sticky fingers of third-party owners.
Nastasic was a key figure at the Sky Blues in 2012/13, playing 21 times in the league and winning City’s Young Player of the Year award.
Injuries prevented him from building on that impressive start to life in England last season, and Manuel Pellegrini seems to have run out of patience with the youngster.
That decision could be very much to be Spurs’ gain, as the Serbian is everything you could want in a Premier League defender.
Powerful in the air – he won 66 per cent of 104 aerial duels in 2012/13 – and an intelligent reader of the game, Nastasic could be the ideal foil for Jan Vertonghen, who delights in the more technical aspects of the game.
Musacchio might be Pochettino’s first choice, but with time running out Spurs should be sounding out alternatives, and Nastasic would be the perfect option if he is available to them this summer.
After beating West Ham 1-0 in their season opener, Spurs are 4/9 to pick up another three points at home against QPR in their next league game.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing
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