Victor Wanyama’s future at Tottenham Hotspur is likely to be decided when he returns from holiday after the African Cup of Nations.
Wanyama has been given a chance to recover after the tournament and having to report back to training at White Hart Lane while the rest of the squad have already started pre season training.
According to reports in the Mail on Sunday, he is one of several players who Spurs have put on the transfer list as manager Mauricio Pochettino looks to revamp his squad in the wake of the Champions League final defeat to Liverpool last month.
Down the pecking order
Spurs, who had failed to land a single transfer target since January 2018 when Lucas Moura was bought from Paris Saint Germain, have already splashed out over £55 million (Sh7 billion) on Tanguy Ndombele from Olympique Lyonnais and are now being linked with Giovani Lo Celso of Real Betis and Dani Ceballos of Real Madrid.
Ndombele’s arrival will further push Wanyama down the pecking order at Tottenham, who already have French international Mousasa Sissoko and England international Harry Winks as their first choice central midfield pairing.
The likelihood is that Wanyama or England international Eric Dier will be sold to fund further replacements as Tottenham do not need two back up defensive midfield players.
Pochettino is not likely to make a decision until Kenya’s captain returns from leave and has had a chance to discuss his future at the north London club.
That has not stopped speculation as to where his next destination might be with Everton, who recently have been playing a friendly tournament in Kenya, seen as the most likely destination.
Wanyama still has two years on his contract with Spurs and the London club would expect to at least double the £11 million (Sh1.3 billion then) they paid for him in 2016.
According to Joe Bernstein of the Mail on Sunday, Wanyama’s placement on the transfer list is not surprising. He says there will be more competition for places at Spurs in midfield in 2019/20 and the 28-year-old wasn’t a regular first team choice when fit last season.
Wanyama made 22 appearances in all competitions in 2018/19, racking up less than 1000 minutes of football although he did play regularly in the latter part of the season as well as appearances in both the Champions League quarter finals (against Manchester City) and against Ajax in the semi final.
But he made only four Premier League starts under Pochettino last season and is likely to find himself behind Ndombele, Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko and other new arrivals if he stays.
So while the Kenyan captain will want to fight for his place, he may soon come to the realisation that leaving Tottenham is in his best interests.