Yesterday saw Tottenham officially make an approach for in-demand Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld.
Southampton, who had the Belgium international centre-back on loan last term, are believed to be keen on having him back at St Mary’s on a permanent basis, though these intentions have been hampered by Spurs’ intervention.
However, Saints worries have since been tempered by a fringe theory hatched amongst Lilywhites supporters borne off the back of reports emanating from Spain.
They concern Alderweireld’s Atletico colleague Mario Suarez, a holding-midfielder whose ability to break up opposition attacks is complimented by exemplary nous in possession.
Such traits can also be found in Morgan Schneiderlin, a long-term target of the north Londoners who now, unfortunately for them, looks unattainable.
The Frenchman’s £25m price tag and desire to play Champions League football has rendered a reunion with Mauricio Pochettino at White Hart Lane off the menu, with a move to Manchester United looking far more likely at this stage.
This means Spurs are still short in the anchorman department, yet instead of chasing up alternative targets, they’re investing resources in a centre-back they don’t need.
Kevin Wimmer’s arrival from FC Koln swelled the stocks even further; alongside Jan Vertonghen, Federico Fazio and Eric Dier, he’s vying for one of two spots in the starting XI, as are unwanted assets who are yet to be auctioned off such as Vlad Chiriches and Younes Kaboul.
Adding more bodies to this densely populated department would only exacerbate the situation, while simultaneously decreasing the possibility of improving a weaker area of the team.
This being the case, could it be Spurs’ alleged Alderweireld move is merely a ruse to covertly discuss a deal for Suarez?
He’s a brand of player plenty of their Premier League rivals are in the market for and, at his budget-friendly price, their clandestine approach to negotiations could be a means of minimising the competition for his services.
Having had Willian whipped out from under their noses by Chelsea two summers ago, Spurs appear more likely than most to adopt such a stance.