RICE AND PLEASE
The weird part about the Daily Express’ claim that Tottenham want to sign Declan Rice is that they suggest he will be a replacement for the outgoing Christian Eriksen.
They tell us ‘Spurs are preparing for the possible exit’ of the Dane, and that ‘Rice has been on Tottenham’s radar for some time’. Yeah, but not as a creative midfielder.
Anyway, West Ham apparently ‘face a battle’ to keep Rice despite him signing a five-and-a-half-year contract at the club two months ago. Liverpool want him and Manchester United have previously been linked, but it is Spurs who are ready to firm up their interest with a £35m offer.
As an aside, that bid is mentioned only in the headline, not in the actual story body. Seems legit.
HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS
Tottenham have clearly and correctly identified midfield as their priority position in terms of new signings. Calciomercato say Hector Herrera could also join alongside Rice in the summer.
Insert something about Mexican Rice here.
Herrera is out of contract with Porto at the end of the season, and Il Corriere dello Sport say the AC Milan target ‘is also being monitored by Inter and Tottenham’.
Herrera is 28 and has played for only Pacucha and Porto at club level, earning 70 international caps with Mexico. On a free, he’d be a bloody brilliant signing.
Le10 Sport are kind enough to name the four ‘prestigious courtiers’ who are interested in signing Lille forward Nicolas Pepe. Arsenal, Tottenham and Barcelona are all interested, but Bayern Munich appear to be leading the chase.
They are apparently ‘seriously’ starting to ‘clarify their interest’ in a player who has 16 goals and ten assists in 13 Ligue Un games this season. Bayern are now a ‘very serious option’.
Pepe ‘will most likely leave’ in the summer, and Lille will hold out for offers in excess of €50m, which is around £44m.
The story does add that Arsenal ‘had planned to buy the player’ during the January transfer window, but were unsuccessful. If they are to revisit that interest in the summer, he would wipe out pretty much their entire budget.
AND THE REST
Defensive midfielder Adrien Tameze, 25, said he rejected a January move to either Cardiff City or Watford because he wanted to keep working with Nice manager Patrick Vieira… Roma are prepared to triple the salary of 21-year-old right winger Cengiz Under to fend off transfer interest from Tottenham and Arsenal… Manchester United missed out on the chance to sign 20-year-old Red Bull Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano after changing the terms of their offer… Championship sides Norwich City, Leeds United and West Brom all sent scouts to watch 19-year-old Motherwell midfielder Jake Hastie play against St Mirren on Wednesday.