Fabian Delph looks like he’s ready to depart the sinking ship that is Aston Villa, after it was revealed by the Telegraph that he is refusing to sign a new contract.
His current deal runs out this summer. Randy Lerner is said to be against selling Delph in January, with Villa set for a tough season in the Premier League.
That would see Delph leave the club on a Bosman in the summer and the likes of Liverpool, Everton and Spurs are reputed to be interested in signing the England international.
Of that trio, it’s Tottenham’s interest that is the most fascinating. At a rough guess, Spurs currently have around 47 central midfielders at the club, with expensive signings like Paulinho and Mousa Dembele currently clogging up the dressing room.
Yet you can be sure that Tottenham will make a move for Delph if he’s going for free. Their transfer policy seems very much to be dictated by Daniel Levy’s desire to bring bargains to the club, as was demonstrated by the signing of Lewis Holtby.
Holtby was in a similar situation to Delph when Spurs brought him to White Hart Lane, with his contract running down and available on the cheap. The club recruited the German international but he’s failed to find favour with any manager, which at Tottenham - who have has three bosses during Holtby's time - is quite a feat.
Steven Pienaar was another unnecessary purchase. The idea seems to be to get players in cheap, safe in the knowledge that they can be sold for a profit, even if things don’t work out.
Delph should be very cautious about any interest from Spurs, where academy product Ryan Mason has made himself a fixture in the side. In Pochettino’s current formation, the Villa midfielder would be directly competing for a spot with a player a year younger than him.
This is not to say that Delph isn’t good, just that he’s hardly what Tottenham need, which makes it a poor move for the player.
The likes of Stewart Downing, James Milner and Ashley Young have left Villa searching for glory, with mixed results. Delph needs to consider his future very closely indeed and select a side where he knows he’s part of the managers plans.
Here’s the man himself in action.