Harry Winks has emerged as a surprise transfer target for Atletico Madrid after Tottenham finally decided to let him go, according to reports.
Winks is a Tottenham academy graduate and remains a one-club man. He has never even spent time away from them on loan. But at the age of 25, his progress has slowed and he has fallen down the pecking order. It means his future at the club is now in doubt.
The England international has only started seven Premier League games this season. He has come on as a substitute in three more.
There have been more opportunities for him in the Europa League, in which he has provided one goal and one assist. But only completing 90 minutes three times in the English top flight this season has not been ideal.
Now, their stance appears to have softened. According to the Daily Mirror, Tottenham will “listen to offers” for Winks in the summer.
Valencia remain keen on the player but they have been joined in the race to sign him by two other Spanish suitors. Sevilla are now among the chasing pack, but Atletico Madrid have emerged as the favourites.
Everton could yet provide him an opportunity to stay in the Premier League, but all will depend on who can meet Tottenham’s asking price.
It is claimed that Spurs want somewhere between £15m and £20m before selling Winks. Atletico would only be able to meet that fee by selling someone else first.
There is a willingness to get the deal done, though. A move to Spain may also appeal to the midfielder, as he was actually eligible to play for their national team before choosing England due to his maternal grandparents coming from the country.
His chances are unlikely to increase at Tottenham next season. Jose Mourinho has restricted his gametime and Oliver Skipp is expected to take on a bigger role when he returns from Norwich in the summer.
That would further block Winks’ pathway, forcing him to consider his options.
Tottenham have Kane plan
Another academy graduate linked with leaving Spurs for Spain is Harry Kane. However, the club are far less open to that possibility.
Striker Kane remains Spurs’ most important player and as such, Daniel Levy will try to block the efforts of Barcelona and Real Madrid to sign him.
According to The Sun, Levy has set an asking price of £175m to sell Kane to a foreign club. Neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid may be able to afford that.
It is claimed that Madrid are the “most likely” to bid, but would not be able to get anywhere near what Levy wants.
Hence, Tottenham are hoping they will focus on their other attacking targets like Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe. Both younger than Kane, Madrid may prefer to choose them as a longer-term investment.
That could leave Kane stuck at Spurs – a situation he would not be entirely dissatisfied with. While he wants to win the biggest prizes, his love for his current club remains and he would not force his way out.