With the chances of Gareth Bale starting the season at White Hart Lane decreasing hourly, Tottenham will surely start to consider potential replacements, and there are plenty of quality options on the market.
Bale is now 8/11 to end the summer as a Real Madrid player compared to evens to stick with Spurs and, with little over a month to go before the transfer window closes, they can’t afford not to ponder alternatives.
The most obvious candidate is the man who would be worst affected by the Welsh winger surfacing at the Bernabeu, Angel Di Maria. The Argentine was reportedly offered to Spurs as part of a package for Bale earlier this summer.
The 25-year-old was a huge hit early in his Real career but last term was arguably his weakest, while the Lilywhites – 11/5 for a top-four finish – would likely have to compete with Champions League clubs if he was made available for transfer.
Another Argentine mentioned in the media as a possible Tottenham target is Javier Pastore, though there is no indication that PSG, who are among of the continent’s top payers, will be looking to sell. Consequently, there isn’t much incentive for him to leave the 2/7 Ligue 1 favourites.
A third Argentine linked with Spurs is Roma’s Erik Lamela and, assuming technical director Franco Baldini wasn’t hired with a clause prohibiting him from recruiting Giallorossi players, his relationship with his former employers could prove invaluable.
Lamela has spent most of his time in the Italian capital on the right wing but is a leftie and shares Bale’s knack of scurrying into scoring positions, striking 15 times for a struggling side in 2012/13.
Still only 21 despite having two years in Europe under his belt, Lamela possesses enormous resale potential and won’t look down his nose at Europa League participation given that Roma have no continental competition to look forward to.
The atmosphere in Rome has been unpleasant since the team’s disastrous Coppa Italia final defeat to neighbours Lazio, with fans fuming, and Roma’s resistance to selling the wide man might be softened by the anticipated arrival of Gervinho.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.