A January transfer that looked a win-win for all involved won’t come to pass for Tottenham, with a potential move for an ex-Chelsea winger now coming into view.
Spurs are understood to be on the hunt for at least two additions in the winter window. A new centre-half will take priority, with Micky van de Ven’s hamstring injury and Cristian Romero’s suspension exposing Tottenham’s defensive depth.
Eric Dier remains in situ, though has been overlooked for selection in the last two Premier League matches. That’s seen Ange Postecoglou go with a back four consisting entirely of full-backs and five goals have been shipped.
Elsewhere, a wide forward is wanted amid long-term injuries to Ivan Perisic and Manor Solomon. Son Heung-min will also weaken the forward line for up to a month in mid-January when away with South Korea at the Asian Cup.
Among the many attacking options Tottenham have been linked with are Johan Bakayoko (PSV Eindhoven), Samuel Iling-Junior (Juventus) and Jota (Al-Ittihad).
Of the three it is Jota who appeared to represent the most risk-free option for Spurs. Indeed, Postecoglou knows the Portuguese well through their time together at Celtic.
What’s more, the 24-year-old has barely featured since his £25m move to Al-Ittihad over the summer and TEAMtalk previously confirmed Tottenham hold an interest in bringing him back to the British Isles in January.
Football Insider stated Spurs would greatly prefer the loan route. The Daily Record then claimed Al-Ittihad would give the greenlight to Jota leaving via that method.
However, the situation has turned on its head by way of a change in manager.
Al-Ittihad replaced Nuno Espirito Santo with Argentine manager Marcelo Gallardo in November and according to journalist Rudy Galetti, the change has sparked a U-turn from Jota.
Taking to X, Galetti stated that “with the arrival of Gallardo” Jota would now “like to stay and play a key role in the [Saudi Arabian] club.”
If Jota is now unwilling to reunite with his former boss Postecoglou in January, a transfer to Spurs is now dead in the water.
Frustrated ex-Blues winger takes centre stage?
Instead, attention may now turn to Iling-Junior of Juventus, with the former Chelsea winger confirmed as a Tottenham target by The Independent.
The 20-year-old is growing increasingly frustrated at his lack of opportunities in Turin having amassed just 113 minutes of gametime this season.
Italian journalist Daniele Longo recently claimed Tottenham will make a bid for the left-footed winger in January.
Juventus are reportedly willing to agree to a deal if a bid worth roughly €18m (approx. £15.4m) is tabled.