Spurs target Martial

Tottenham are reluctant to recruit another specialist striker to compete with Harry Kane after the unsuccessful signings of Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente in the past two summers.

Spurs want to sell Janssen and Llorente — who, between them, have cost the club more than £10million per League goal — but Mauricio Pochettino, the club’s manager, is wary of signing another out-and-out centre-forward to replace them.

Pochettino has found it difficult to convince transfer targets to accept the challenge of being Kane’s understudy and Alvaro Morata, Chelsea’s record signing, and Bournemouth’s Joshua King are among the forwards to have previously turned down the opportunity to compete with the England striker, who missed just 337 minutes of Premier League football last season.

Pochettino is instead targeting a forward who can also play on the wing or at No10 and Manchester United’s Anthony Martial is high on his list of targets.

Tottenham bid for Martial, who was left out of France’s World Cup squad last week, before he joined United for an initial £36million from Monaco in September 2015 and they have closely monitored his situation at Old Trafford. The Londoners are hopeful that United, who are interested in Spurs’s centre-half Toby Alderweireld, will be prepared to do business this summer, while Martial’s £65,000-a-week wages should not pose a problem. If Spurs sign Martial or a similar player, he would be able to compete for a place in the attacking trio behind Kane, as well as deputise for the 24-year-old up front.

Both Janssen and Llorente arrived at Spurs on the back of prolific seasons in front of goal but neither has been able to replicate that form and they will be told to find new clubs in the summer.

Janssen joined Spurs for £17m in 2016 after finishing as the top scorer in the Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar but he managed just two Premier League goals in 2016-17, including one from the penalty spot.

The 23-year-old joined Fenerbahce on loan last summer but he has similarly struggled to impress during an injury hit campaign in Turkey, scoring four times, and the Super Lig club are thought to have already rejected the chance to sign him permanently.

Llorente, a world and European champion with Spain, was supposed to be a form-proof veteran, who would provide Spurs with a Plan B and a winning mentality. The 33-year-old scored just once in the League this season against his former club Swansea after Spurs beat Chelsea to his signature for £14.5m on transfer deadline day. The Spaniard is open to a return to Spain.

(Evening Standard)

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