Man City confident of tempting Spurs into selling star defender
Manchester City believe they can tempt Tottenham Hotspur into selling Kyle Walker even though chairman Daniel Levy would prefer to push the right-back overseas if manager Mauricio Pochettino gives the green light to a move.
City have been encouraged by the fact Walker has met with Pochettino over his future and sources close to the Manchester club claim Spurs will listen to bids for the England international.
Pochettino has insisted that players will only leave White Hart Lane this summer if the club wish to sell them and Tottenham are adamant they want to keep the bulk of their Premier League title-chasing squad together.
But City believe Spurs may be tempted to cash in on Walker if the money is right to help fund their own summer transfer business, rather than hand the 26-year-old a significant pay rise to his wages which are currently less than £70,000-a-week.
City manager Pep Guardiola has prioritised signing two new full-backs and has identified both Walker and left-back Danny Rose as targets.
While the club are not optimistic over their chances of signing Rose, who could return from injury for the North London derby against Arsenal, they remain very much in the hunt for Walker.
Levy would demand more than the £30 million Manchester United paid for Luke Shaw in 2014 for Walker and would rather sell him abroad if Pochettino decides the Sheffield United youngster can go.
There have been claims in Germany and Spain that Bayern Munich and Barcelona are tracking Walker, but it seems unlikely either club would match the kind of money that will be on offer from City.
Tottenham are also braced for a big bid from Manchester United for Eric Dier, who will be promised his favoured midfield role at Old Trafford.
Pochettino will have money to spend this summer, regardless of whether anyone is sold, and has targeted Ross Barkley and Wilfried Zaha, who are both valued at £30m, along with defenders Michael Keane and Harry Maguire.
Aside from potential incomings and outgoings, Tottenham’s current priority is trying to catch Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table and Toby Alderweireld has insisted the leaders have a fight on their hands.
Spurs cut the gap back down to four points by beating Crystal Palace on Wednesday night and Alderweireld said: “We want to put pressure on them. They won. Of course we want to catch them, but we want to defend the second spot as well. The only thing we can do is try to win our games. We fought as a team and did very well.
“We try to win our games. We know it is going to be difficult, but that is all we can do. This was a good response after the FA Cup semi-final. We are back in it. We showed character after Saturday and are back on track. That is very important, if you get a setback to respond immediately.”
On Sunday’s North London derby and the prospect of finishing above Arsenal for the first time in over 20 years, Alderweireld added: “That is extra motivation, but you do not need extra motivation on Sunday.
“It is a massive game. We are going to try and win at the Lane. It is going to be a special day and it is up to us to get three points.”
Levy is set to confirm that Tottenham will next season move into Wembley while their new stadium is being built, making the derby the last to be played at the club’s traditional White Hart Lane ground.
Tottenham extended their deadline with the FA to make a decision until the end of April and are now ready to make their temporary move into Wembley for one season official.