Spurs look to loan Lopes as Schneiderlin spat escalates
Tottenham, 10/3 for a top four finish, have enjoyed a relatively quiet summer transfer window so far, with new boss Mauricio Pochettino only adding former Swansea stars Ben Davies and Michel Vorm to his squad.
All that could be set to change, though, with a loan move for Sporting Lisbon full back Miguel Lopes apparently close to completion. The Portugal international, capped four times by his country, is believed to be arriving at White Hart Lane with an option to eventually make the deal permanent.
Lopes, 27, is reportedly ready to move on from the capital club, with Spurs seemingly the top option for the versatile right back, who can play on either defensive flank.
The flying full back spent last term on loan to Lyon, but made just 16 league appearances before returning to his parent club. Lopes has only plied his trade for Sporting since 2013, and is no stranger to a transfer, having also played for Rio Ave, Porto and Operario, as well as being part of Benfica’s youth system.
Pochettino is likely to deploy the Portuguese, who was included in the Navigators’ Euro 2012 squad but missed out on selection for the World Cup, at right back. He will be able to act as useful cover for both full back positions, though, as rumours emerge that Kyle Naughton is a target for Swansea City.
Spurs, meanwhile, appear not to have given up on making a double swoop for Southampton stars Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez, despite the Saints insisting they are not for sale.
Southampton chairman Krueger quashed the rumours, stating: “They are part of the core that we have decided to keep… Jay Rodriguez and Morgan Schneiderlin are not for sale.”
According to reports, France international Schneiderlin did not take the news well, and tweeted: “6 years of an amazing journey #saintsfc DESTROYED in 1 hour!!!”
Schneiderlin, 24, has spent six seasons at St Mary’s after signing from Strasbourg in 2008, and played an integral part in their promotion to the Premier League.
Following an influential campaign for the Saints last term, the holding midfielder earned his first French cap, and a call-up to Didier Deschamps’ World Cup squad, where he played in the group stage stalemate with Ecuador.
Seemingly ready to move on, Schneiderlin has reportedly refused to train with his current clubmates after seeing his hopes of a summer switch dashed.
Whether Spurs will get two of their top targets remains to be seen, but the potential transfers of Schneiderlin and Rodriguez, who saw his own World Cup hopes dashed after sustaining a knee injury, would be smart business for the north Londoners.
Former Southampton boss Pochettino, who worked with both players last year, already knows how to extract the best from the duo, and they should take little time to adapt to his system or their surroundings.
Spurs have some significant ground to make up after a disappointing campaign last term, despite spending significant amounts on summer signings, including Roberto Soldado, Paulinho and Erik Lamela.
Schneiderlin and Rodriguez, meanwhile, may find it grating to hear they are not for sale, after the south coast club sanctioned moves for a raft of their former teammates.
The talented trio of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren have already been poached by Liverpool, leaving Saints fans aghast at losing some of their most prized players.
Highly-rated homegrown full backs Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers also departed for pastures new, joining Manchester United and Arsenal respectively.
Southampton, 9/2 to be relegated, have promised to reinvest funds, with Kruger claiming: “Now we have finances and once again we are excited to continue in the rebuilding process…We will have players coming in. We will make transfers to strengthen the squad. I can understand some frustration”.
If the Saints do decide to offload one or both of Schneiderlin and Rodriguez, fans would understandably be concerned, having already overseen an incredible exodus of talent, after the side finished eighth in the Premier League last season.