Luis Diaz latest and why Spurs want him, the crazy Adama Traore figures and Daniel Levy decision


OakgroveSpurs: “Was the decision not to go through with the Adama deal down to Antonio Conte? The finances? The player or Wolves?

Alasdair says: “It seems like it’s a number of the above reasons. Fabio Paratici, who is currently back home in Italy, was the major driver behind the Traore talks and has tried to sign the Spaniard before for big money at Juventus.

“For Conte, it would have been a conversion job to turn him into a right wing-back, one that some suggest would have been a difficult one for a player without much in the way of defensive ability. Spurs maintain they did not make a bid for Traore during this window, although talks were clearly held.

“The money being spoken about with Barcelona, talk of an option to buy of near £30m in the summer, on top of a loan fee, perhaps suggests why Spurs did not continue to push all the way to the end for the deal. For a player with so little end product, who hasn’t been getting regularly into Wolves’ starting XI in recent weeks, and one who will have 12 months left on his contract this summer, that’s a crazy fee.

“The sense throughout talks was always that Wolves were likely to accept £20m from Spurs and all sides thought a deal would be done before the deadline. Barcelona’s arrival clearly has changed that stance. It’s also interesting that it seems to be an option rather than an obligation to buy, which doesn’t help Wolves hugely.

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“I know it will frustrate some Spurs fans, but I’m not sure it’s the worst outcome for Tottenham, but only if they make their own moves in the coming days.”

CoysCoys: “How come Tottenham have suddenly found the money to make a substantial bid for Luis Diaz when the belief was that we needed to offload players before bringing anyone in?”

Alasdair says: “It suggests a confidence that they will get players with decent salaries off the wage bill in the coming days and from what I understand Diaz is someone everyone within Spurs agrees is top quality, so perhaps that’s the type of player that if the deal is there to be done you simply have to find the money for. As with any Daniel Levy deal, I’m sure any fee will be broken up into instalments and with various performance-related factors.”

TimJones96: “What is the likelihood of Spurs pulling off this deal for Luis Diaz? We’ve been here before with the likes of Dybala – will this one be different?”

Alasdair says: “I hope so! There’s certainly a growing belief within Spurs that they might be able to get it done and on Wednesday I said there was more hope than with Traore, which we’ve now seen why.

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“I’m intrigued to see what role Jorge Mendes still has to play in this after just getting Barcelona to agree to that big option fee for Traore.

“Yes, he’s Traore’s agent and not Diaz’s, but I keep hearing that he will be involved as some kind of intermediary with Porto in it all because of his relationship with both Paratici and them. If that is the case, then that might be to Spurs’ advantage.”

Knoxspur: “Why are we always in for wingers when we need a striker and/or a creative midfielder? Is getting rid of Ndombele getting in the way?”

Rob says: “While Spurs do need to bring in a new striker and creative player, the opportunity to get the Colombian is obviously there and one Paratici and Conte feel they should move for now.

“As it’s extremely unlikely that Spurs can find their long-term striker solution in what is left of the window, they may be better going for Luis Diaz and then moving for a new striker in the summer when they have more time and more players are available. Steven Bergwijn and Son Heung-min can play through the middle if Harry Kane is absent, while Diaz can also chip in with the goals and assists as he’s proved at Porto.”

Tottenham Hotspur have held talks about signing Luis Diaz of Porto before Monday's January transfer window deadline
Tottenham Hotspur have held talks about signing Luis Diaz of Porto before Monday’s January transfer window deadline

Dylan Cross: “Is there any specific reason as to why Tottenham only seem to kick into gear near the end of the transfer window, surely this tactic only decreases the likelihood of signing a player as it leaves the other clubs less time to replace the player and less time for Tottenham to negotiate?”

Rob says: “It does seem to be the way for the vast majority of clubs in January to be honest. It’s only really Everton, Aston Villa and Newcastle United who have been busy in the market so far this month. While it does frustrate fans as they want new players in nice and early, Fabio Paratici does have plenty of experience of striking deals late on in the window and the same with Daniel Levy.”

Scrabopower: “Any sign of a rescheduled date soon for the North London derby? End of February perhaps?”

Rob says: “The Premier League did announce their TV fixtures for March on Wednesday afternoon and only one of a number of cancelled games from over the past month had a new date. There does seem to be a few spaces in the calendar for both clubs in February and the same for March as neither team has European football to play. However, there’s also the Burnley and Brighton games that need new dates as well.”

ray12: “Do you see Tottenham meeting Porto’s demands for Luis Díaz?”

Alasdair says: “I feel we’re at the point where Spurs just have to push hard for him. Conte needs help, the fans are fully behind him and not the club hierarchy, so with the news now out there that they have started talks they need to come out with either a successful outcome or an equally impressive alternative.

“Otherwise the atmosphere will quickly turn toxic and Conte is not the type to keep his thoughts to himself. The key window definitely is the summer one but with so much still to play for this season and Conte’s dissatisfaction with his squad clear, Paratici and Levy need to start the work now.

“It’s classic Tottenham that we’re so late into the window and there’s so much to do. It’s a strategy that seems to be seen as low risk because they think the fees come down but it’s high risk really because of the chances of ending up with nothing.”

Lamela11: “Are there any fears that Conte could walk after this January window?”

Alasdair says: “I reported last month that some of the Spurs players were worried he might walk if he wasn’t backed in this window but those inside the club have never shared that fear with a feeling that the summer is the crunch window for his reign.

“Personally, I’d be surprised if he were to throw in the towel this quickly. I agree that the summer will be key, but that’s not to say he shouldn’t get some help now.”

lechmitz: “I know its a big if, but if Tottenham sign Luis Diaz does that mean Bryan Gil will go on loan until the end of the season?”

Alasdair says: “He only arrived five months or so ago and personally I hope he stays and continues to adapt to Spurs and the English game, because he’s got plenty of talent.

“However, if Diaz does arrive then Gil is pretty much fifth choice in the winger slots if we’re presuming Diaz, Son, Lucas and Bergwijn would all be picked ahead of him.

“On a personal level you can see why the 20-year-old might want to head out if given the chance and I suppose regular football could also help him if that’s not going to come this season, but I still feel Spurs might need him as this season goes on.”

Shane1986: “If no right wing back is now signed after missing out on Traore, who is likely to be starting right wing-back until the end of the season, Doherty or Emerson?”

Rob says: “You would have to say Emerson as he has been a regular in the team since his summer move. Matt Doherty did very well away at Leicester City last week but he needs to replicate that performance week in, week out when he is played in his favoured position. If Emerson continues to be inconsistent then it could open up for Doherty to come in and take the position.”

Astle: “What position do you see Diaz playing for us?”

Rob says: “Diaz will likely take his place on the left of a front three containing Harry Kane and Son Heung-min. He has played on the right on a couple of occasions in his career but predominantly plays on the left. Spurs would have some attack if he joins.”

unihill: “If we get Amrabat do you think that will be it for midfield this January or are we looking to bring in multiple?”

Rob says: “If they can sign Sofyan Amrabat then they can look at the position again in the summer if Antonio Conte wants to address it and add some more quality.

“Tottenham have been linked with Franck Kessie but that deal would make more sense at the end of the season given he will be available on a free transfer. As Spurs do line up with a midfield two in his 3-4-3 system, Conte would have Hojbjerg, Skipp, Winks and Amrabat to choose from. One January midfield addition would do for now.”

Antonio Conte and Fabio Paratici have now had their meeting about the January transfer window.
Antonio Conte and Fabio Paratici

lev: “Have you tried to get an interview with Paratici to explain the transfer/squad strategy? I heard it was common in Italy for the director of football to do press interviews, he seems to be getting a free pass in England. Conte is getting frustrated being asked questions about signings when really it should be Paratici facing those questions from the press.”

Alasdair says: “I have asked a few times. He did do a press conference just before Conte officially began and I’m hopeful we’ll get to speak to him properly soon. It’s true that in Italy, the sporting directors speak a lot, often to the broadcasters before matches, but it’s not really done like that over here.”

MattSpurs79: “We started the window targeting a right wing-back, a central midfielder and a striker, we are now apparently focusing lots of effort on buying a left sided attacker in Diaz. How has that happened, particularly given that we already have Son, Bergwijn and Gil for that position, so not exactly a priority?”

Alasdair says: “I think it’s simply a case of the possibility of signing a top player suddenly arising and Spurs thinking they can try to get it done. Sometimes you just have to go for that deal and get creative to fix the other problems. I agree it’s definitely a priority position but if they could get Diaz and he brings what he’s been doing at Porto and in the Champions League to Spurs then it gives Conte so much more of an attacking thrust for the long term and papers over some other cracks until the summer window.”

AaronStenlake: “Do you see a world where Gareth Bale could come back to us in the summer after his contract ends if Wales make the World Cup and we do not get the Diaz deal over the line? Would you also take him back in the summer if the opportunity was there?”

Alasdair says: “Tough one. I’d say the wages will still be very high if he continues to play, especially as a free agent and those injury woes will still be a concern. Personally, while he was still a terrific player at times last season, I just don’t think he fits what Conte demands from every player with the constant work-rate and defending from the front.”

fuliga: “After Christian Eriksen left, I reckon the biggest issue of the midfield is lack of creativity. Neither Tanguy nor Gio could solve it effectively. So how does Conte think about the creativity thing and is there any plan about signing such an attacking midfielder in the summer?”

Rob says: “Luis Diaz would help with the creativity issue as he has chipped in with six assists for Porto so far this campaign. Antonio Conte did make a point of not having a lot of creative players in his squad after the win at Leicester and it is a position that still needs solving two years on from Christian Eriksen’s exit. Definitely one Spurs need to look at in the summer.”

elliottharvey: “Of the players Spurs haven’t been linked with in this window, and there aren’t many left, who would you like to see the club go in for?”

Rob says: “Pau Torres. Tottenham need a left-sided centre-back in the summer and the Villarreal man would be perfect. He’s only 25 and could form part of a very good backline alongside Cristian Romero.”

Scorpiophoenix: “How much are we paying Paratici and why? He has achieved absolutely nothing in terms of getting us new players. Suggest we sack him and put his wages into the pot to actually buy some decent players?

Rob says: “Fabio Paratici was never going to solve all of Tottenham’s issues in one or two transfer windows. Mauricio Pochettino mentioned a “painful rebuild” a few months before his exit and that’s exactly what the club are going through right now.

“Managing to move on a number of experienced players on big wages last summer, he also brought in some talented players for the future, including Cristian Romero, who many believe will become one of the best defenders in the world.

“Paratici could also be about to bring in Luis Diaz from Porto and I’m sure that’s a signing that will go down well with Tottenham fans. He has plenty more to do in the summer but he needs time.”

Source by Football London

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