When Tottenham were in the process of negotiating Davinson Sanchez’s move from Ajax, there were clear attempts from Amsterdam to push the price up.
That’s natural, but this time it stood out because the claims appeared over the top, unlikely, and not backed up by the media closest to the clubs involved.
On August 12th, 2017, De Telegraaf published a report saying Tottenham’s interest in the Colombian was serious. Spurs were said to have made contact, and informed Ajax they were prepared to pay €40m for the defender.
Real Madrid and Barcelona were also credited with an interest, and the Dutch newspaper even stated every top club in Europe had Sanchez on their list.
The suggestion was then made that these interested clubs could fight against each other and push the price higher than that €40m.
As the days went by, an offer from Real Madrid was discussed from the same sources, yet this wasn’t really an issue in the well connected media which covers Los Blancos, so it looked a clear attempt to pressure Tottenham.
Chelsea were also said to have a concrete interest, and Ajax were all of a sudden looking for €50m.
That was on August 17th, and later that same day, Sanchez failed to show at Ajax’s team hotel ahead of the club’s Europa League playoff against Norwegian side Rosenborg.
De Telegraaf reported the no-show seemed to be ‘related to the refusal of Ajax to accept Tottenham’s €40m offer’.
On August 18th, the Dutch newspaper reported in the morning that an agreement had been reach with Spurs for a €35m fee plus a further €10m in potential bonus payments. Later that day, the move was made official.
Ajax’s tactics hadn’t worked, and the only way they got Tottenham to go over €40m was by dropping the initial fee and making the rest dependent on bonuses.
For their big exits last summer, Frenkie De Jong and Matthijs de Ligt, the Eredivisie club didn’t need to manufacture a transfer race, the widespread interest was genuine.
Now there’s another potential big exit, with Monday’s edition of De Telegraaf reporting Spurs, Manchester United and PSG are all concretely keen on Andre Onana.
All three clubs are said to have contacted the player’s agent Albert Botines, and want to ‘tempt’ the goalkeeper to move next summer.
Ajax want around €40-50m.
There’s question marks around the interest from all three, although the French club have been linked repeatedly in recent weeks. Manchester United recently extended David De Gea’s contract, PSG signed Keylor Navas on a four year deal, and Tottenham have Hugo Lloris.
Whilst it was a little over the top for France Football to recently place Lloris in their final 30 for the Ballon d’Or, the 32 year old still has plenty to offer and it seems doubtful Spurs would spend approaching €50m on a successor next summer.
There may be some level of interest, on a just-in-case basis, yet it feels like there’s already an attempt to push Onana to market and exaggerate the level of interest in him.
Whether that’s coming from the agent or Ajax, or both, isn’t yet clear.