Spurs and Erik Lamela in Inter exchange for Xherdan Shaqiri?
Tottenham, 6/1 shots with Coral for a top four Premier League finish, are being linked to an intriguing swap deal featuring Inter Milan attacker Xherdan Shaqiri.
According to reports in the Italian press, Spurs will offer Argentina wideman Erik Lamela in exchange for Switzerland star Shaqiri, who only arrived at the San Siro in January from Bayern Munich, but has failed to shine.
Supposedly close to signing for Mark Hughes’ Stoke City after a reported £12m bid was accepted for the strong but skilful former Bayern Munich player, it is though Shaqiri would prefer a switch to north London.
Still only 23, Shaqiri was rated as one of Europe’s top young talents and looked destined to reach his potential after swapping Swiss Super League side Basel for Bayern in 2012. However, the flank threat failed to become a regular starter with the likes of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery in his way at the Allianz Arena.
The attacker of Albanian descent has racked-up 17 goals in 46 caps for Switzerland, and continues to attract attention due to his pace, powerful physique and tricky feet, all of which would make him an ideal fit for the Premier League.
Just two goals and three assists in 20 appearances across all competitions for Inter show Shaqiri still has work to do, but a change of scenery and the speed of the English game may be just what the playmaker, long-linked to Spurs, needs.
Tottenham (odds-on at 1/9 to miss out on the top four) are seemingly trying to upgrade their wing positions and add further threat to support prolific striker Harry Kane and creator-in-chief Christian Eriksen.
The likes of Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend are tipped to move on, as Mauricio Pochettino seeks to build a squad capable of snatching a Champions League place. Meanwhile, offering Lamela, also just 23, to the Nerazzurri in return for a direct replacement could be prudent for both club and player.
Lamela, once lethal in Serie A for Roma where he hit 15 league goals in his final season, has inexplicably failed to adjust to England, and could also benefit from a move.
As one of Spurs’ most expensive acquisitions alongside Roberto Soldado, famously funded by the Gareth Bale sale to Real Madrid in 2013, the pressure to replace the Welshman appears to have been too much, despite compatriot Pochettino’s patience with his compatriot since taking over at White Hart Lane.
A shadow of his former self, a return to Italy with Inter to play alongside fellow Argentine Mauro Icardi could well reinvigorate flexible forward Lamela. The San Siro side could certainly use an added source of guile and goals as city rivals AC Milan have already significantly strengthened their attack with high-profile purchases Luiz Adriano and Carlos Bacca.