Exclusive - Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has asked chairman Daniel Levy to try and sign up to five new players in order to sufficiently boost the squad for next season, though strained finances will mean the club will focus on players in the loan and free agent markets.
Spurs have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic in recent months and were among the handful of Premier League clubs planning to make use of the government’s Job Retention Scheme by furloughing non-playing staff – until public pressure forced a U-turn.
That could make strengthening ahead of next season, which is vital when the current campaign has seen them slip out of the top four, a significant challenge.
With this his first summer in charge, 90min has been informed that Mourinho is seeking as many as five new faces for the 2020/21 campaign. The Portuguese hopes bringing in that many new additions will give his squad the necessary strength in depth to compete next season.
However, in the difficult current circumstances, the club would consider three signings a relative success.
Their approach comes amid concerns over income. The new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has been sitting empty since March and fans may not be allowed to return in mass numbers until 2021, wiping out matchday revenue for close to a year. The fact there will also be no NFL games in London this year has meant Spurs have taken a further hit.
A source confirmed to 90min: “The lack of matchday revenue has hit Tottenham harder than most, and for that reason their budgets for next season have been hit. There are some very good players available for little to no outlay, and Spurs are really investigating this avenue hard.”
In terms of targets, Levy is already scouring both the loan and free agent markets. Spurs suffered a setback on Thursday as top target Thomas Meunier joined Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer, but they remain in the mix for the likes of Willian, Thiago Silva and Ryan Fraser.
There will be considerable competition for Silva as 90min has already revealed that Arsenal, Everton, Wolves, Newcastle and West Ham have all considered offering the veteran Brazilian a contract.
Spurs have learned the likes of Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey, from Juventus, are available, while Barcelona are open to letting Philippe Coutinho leave on loan or permanently after a failed transfer from Liverpool in 2018.
Manchester United's Alexis Sanchez - who has spent the campaign on loan at Inter but is due to return at the end of the season - is another option that falls into the available bracket, though at this stage such a move is far less likely.
United's preference would be to offload the Chilean, though doubts remain over whether United would allow one of their players to join a direct rival. Sanchez's preference would also be a move abroad.
Spurs have also enquired to Real Madrid about the availability of former player Gareth Bale on loan, although the player's camp have continuously ruled out such a move. Bale himself appears happy to see out his contract at the Bernabeu, which has two years to run.