Tottenham have reportedly been put off in their attempts to sign Newcastle midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum by the Magpies £25m asking price.
Lilywhites manager Mauricio Pochettino is looking bring in another attacking midfielder to bolster his squad ahead of their Champions League campaign.
Mainz creator Yunus Malli and Soufiane Boufal of Lille are also in the club’s crosshairs as they seek a more moderately-priced alternative to the Netherlands international.
Quite why Spurs chairman Daniel Levy believes £25m is an unfair asking price for the 25-year-old is unclear.
Unlike Malli or Boufal, Wijnaldum has a season’s worth of Premier League experience under his belt.
True it was as part of a Newcastle team that were relegated, but he was comfortably the shining light of a side that were undermotivated and lacking in organisation before the arrival of Rafa Benitez.
The former-PSV man played in all 38 league games, bagging 11 goals and assisting a further five for teammates during his first season in English football.
Among the Tottenham squad only Harry Kane found the net more often, while just three of their players set up more strikes than the Dutchman.
In addition to his substantial contribution to the Magpies’ goals-for column, Wijnaldum showcased his impressive versatility in 2015/16.
According to whoscored.com he was utilised in deep, central and attacking midfield last term, but also on the left side of both a 4-4-2 and 4-3-3.
Quite apart from the value implied by his maiden campaign in the Premier League, the substantial hike in all transfer fees related to the division’s new TV deal renders £25m, if not a snip, then a fair price.
A World-Cup-semi-finalist, Eredivisie winner, Dutch player of the year and Newcastle’s best player, they are entitled to ask for £25m.
Having seen Bournemouth pay £15m for Liverpool’s Jordon Ibe, down the Anfield pecking order and far less proven at the highest level prior to his sale, accepting much less would be naïve.