The back pages of British newspapers are awash with gossip at this time of year as we are in the the fallow period otherwise known as the off season and it would not have made particularly good reading for fans of Tottenham Hotspur with the news that Manchester United are stepping up their interest in Eric Dier.
With the club already doing their best to keep Kyle Walker from the clutches of Manchester City the last thing the club need is to lose another key player to one of their nearest rivals but where there is almost an acceptance that Walker will depart this summer that is far from the case in regards to Dier.
Manchester United have declared an interest in the former Sporting Lisbon player with the Europa League winners attempting to start some dialogue at the end of last season but they were met with a polite but somewhat stern refusal from Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.
That however has not deterred United just yet and they are now ready to table a bid of £60m in a bid to acquire the services of the player whose versatility was a key aspect in Tottenham’s impressive on pitch performances and that is something that they will not want to give up easily if at all.
From Tottenham’s point of view this is not a throwback to the era when they sold both Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov, no longer are they necessarily perceived as a ‘selling club’ and they will have no qualms in refusing what ever sizeable offer comes their way.
The key factor in all of this is whether or not Jose Mourinho can turn the mind of Dier towards a move to Old Trafford. There are two possible elements would United can use in a bid to land their third big signing of this transfer window.
Firstly there is the fact that they could double the player’s wages overnight, this would take the earnings of the 23 year old from 70,000 pounds a week to something nearer 140,000 a week. Which even if Tottenham were to offer a wage increase the maximum ceiling would be 100,000.
The problem this would then create is that it runs the risk of the Tottenham hierarchy being overrun with a long queue of players looking for a pay rise. Therefore it’s obvious from the viewpoint of Daniel Levy that he will not want to change the wage structure any time soon.
Another thing that could work in United’s favour is that Eric Dier would be given a central midfield berth and not having to chop and change positions either week to week or even during a game, with Victor Wanyama now ahead of him in the pecking order it has been a case at times of placing Dier into a back three when his preference is to play further forward.
But at the same time it is that versatility which has been a massive benefit to Mauricio Pochettino as it allows him to adapt the formation of his team when required, thanks to Dier being adept in both positions he can either play in a back three or as a pairing with Wanyama to allow Spurs an extra man in midfield.
Whether the carrot of being given a sole role of just playing in front of the United back four is enough to convince him to move remains to be seen but it will certainly give the England international food for thought as he weighs up the options on the table.
Tottenham are prepared for one of their first choice players to leave this summer and that player is not Eric Dier therefore this is an unwelcome distraction when they are still attempting to bring their first new face to the club after a large period of inactivity.
You do have to question though why Eric Dier would want to leave at this point of his career especially when his current club are on the crest of something exciting, that of course being not only another tilt in the Champions League next season but a move into their new stadium in 12 months.
Perhaps if Tottenham fail to get nowhere near the heights of how they fared in the 2016/17 campaign next time aroudn then he will have every right to think it is time to move on, but with there still so much to achieve under the stewardship of Mauricio Pochettino then you have to ask yourself just how much mileage there is in a move to Old Trafford.
As tenuous as it may be you only have to look at the fact that Dier was a central figure in the club’s new kit launch a couple of weeks ago to show just how highly he is thought of by the upper echelons at Tottenham and he is considered very central to their plans.
Now I know that in itself is not necessarily enough to prove that a player is either coming or going but it does show that he is held in very high regard and Tottenham will be doing their absolute upmost to make sure that he is still a key member of the squad as they prepare for their opening fixture of the season on August 13th when they travel to Newcastle.
Not only that but should Dier nail his Tottenham colours to the mast then it would also a be a massive boost in the way of keeping Dele Alli at the club also. There is no doubting how strong a bond these two players have and also they are instrumental in the feel good factor within the squad both on and off the pitch.
If Dier was to move on then that bond is broken and you would have to imagine that Alli would eventually follow him out of the club, I wouldn’t say that would necessarily be the case in the summer for the former MK Dons man but then it would only be a matter of time before his England teammate also departs for pastures new.
But should a move to Manchester not be a reality then it shows that this a talented player who is ready to commit his future to the club and that will speak volumes not only to his teammates but to the other teams who are planning a title tilt next season. The next few weeks look set to be instrumental in the trajectory for both Tottenham and Manchester United but just who will come out on top in regards to this skirmish, only time will tell.