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Shirt numbers give clearest hint that Lamela will join Spurs

| 30.08.2013

Housing chains can predictably be highly frustrating, with a deal to purchase a new property primed to fall through because a buyer further up the chain has not been granted their mortgage or has fallen victim of a lousy appraisal.

The transfer market can ensure similar difficulties, but the good news for Tottenham is that their chase of Roma’s Erik Lamela seems to have taken the next step forward.

This particular chain appears to have started with Croatian under-21 international Ante Rebic, who moved for around £4m from RNK Split to Fiorentina.

The signing of Rebic gave Fiorentina the necessary assurance that Adem Ljajic was free to join Roma and this deal has now been completed.

What is most influential about the next stage of the chain is that Ljajic has been given the number 8 shirt at the Stadio Olimpico, which up until now had been allocated to Lamela.

This would indicate that Lamela is close to a move and with Tottenham at the front of the queue to sign him, a completed deal must now only be around the corner.

Interestingly, this may only be the middle of the chain though.

Signing Lamela may be what is truly causing the hold up to Gareth Bale’s anticipated exit from White Hart Lane and it will be notable now which shirt number he will take at Tottenham.

If he is allocated number 11, then Bale’s move will be virtually guaranteed. If he joins Manchester United, this will be the end of the chain, but should he join Real Madrid, there remains the prospect that either Angel Di Maria or Mesut Ozil will be allowed to transfer to Arsenal.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.