Saturday 24 February 2018

Spurs bid to sign Dutch striker Vincent Janssen held up by Moneyball creator Billy Beane

Vincent Janssen (right) in action for Holland CREDIT: EPA
Vincent Janssen (right) in action for Holland CREDIT: EPA

Matt Law

Tottenham Hotspur's bid to sign AZ Alkmaar striker Vincent Janssen is being bizarrely held up by the brainchild of ‘Moneyball’ Billy Beane.

The Dutch club have rejected a £15million offer from Spurs for Janssen  on the recommendation of Beane, who has calculated the 22-year-old is  worth £16.5m.  Beane became famous for his success in applying statistical analysis  to baseball, although his theories are yet to make a similar impact in  football.

Despite the fact football clubs that have adopted Beane’s approach have run into difficulties, AZ hired the 54-year-old American as an advisor in March last year.

Ironically, Beane is an avid Tottenham supporter and is friends with  the club’s former director of football Damien Comolli.

Spurs believe their bid represented good business for AZ, with Janssen  keen to move to White Hart Lane having never played outside Holland.

West Ham United are also interested in Janssen, but the forward is  willing to hold out for a move to Tottenham as he favours the prospect  of joining Mauricio Pochettino’s squad.

He finished last season, his first in the top flight, as top scorer in  the Eredivisie with 27 goals and has netted three times in five senior  appearances for Holland.

Tottenham have not been informed what Beane’s valuation of Janssen is  based on and whether or not it has been influenced by the fact other  English clubs have made big bids for strikers all over Europe.

Chelsea are paying Marseille £33m for Michy Batshuayi, who had also  been a target of Tottenham, while West Ham United failed with a £31m  offer for Alexandre Lacazette and Leicester City saw a £25m bid for  Troy Deeney rejected by Watford.

West Ham’s lengthy list of striker targets has reduced rapidly in  recent weeks and AC Milan’s Carlos Bacca is now high on it, with  Janssen still hoping to seal a switch to Spurs.

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