Most of the football world scoffed heartily when reports broke that Tottenham Hotspur had bid £12m for soon-to-be free agent Danny Ings earlier this summer.
Burnley were due compensation from whoever did end up signing the striker, but with the figure expected to be under £5m, Spurs’ offer seemed to reek of desperation.
The Lilywhites perhaps hoped they would demonstrate to Ings just how keen they were to secure his services, but regardless of their bid, the Burnley man ending up opting for Liverpool.
However, Daniel Levy is not a man known for imprudence in the transfer market, and might well have had an ulterior motive.
By offering such a large amount for Ings, Spurs ensured that Burnley could reasonably claim that the market value of the striker was closer to £10m than £5m.
This means that the compensation Liverpool will have to pay for the 22-year-old is higher than initially expected, a move that could pay off in two ways for Spurs, who likely already knew the England Under-21 international was set for Anfield when they made their offer.
Firstly, it’s one in the eye for a rival team, which is always satisfying. More importantly, it puts the Lilywhites firmly in Burnley’s good graces, something that could pay off in the form of Kieran Trippier arriving at White Hart Lane.
Mauricio Pochettino is keen on the right-back, who would provide competition for Kyle Walker and impressed even as the Clarets were relegated last season. It is 2/1 that Trippier is a Spurs player come the end of the transfer window.
The 24-year-old is reportedly priced up at around £3.5m, a bargain fee that means Spurs will face plenty of competition for his signature, including from Liverpool.
Having charmed Burnley with their Ings scheme, the Lilywhites should now have the edge in the race for the full-back, something achieved without any cost to themselves.
Just when everyone thought Levy might be losing his edge…