Updates from Monday, Aug. 11
Mateo Musacchio's proposed switch to Tottenham is once again in doubt after Villarreal attempted to match Spurs' salary offer to keep their defender.
Villarreal are increasingly confident of holding on to Musacchio and have offered the centre back a new deal. Villarreal CEO Fernando Roig has offered Musacchio a new wage that is not far off what Tottenham had offered.
The increased salary at White Hart Lane had been a major factor in Musacchio being keen on a move and the Villarreal offer will mean a tough decision for the player who has been with the Yellow Submarine for five seasons.
Updates from Friday, Aug. 8
Tottenham's attempt to sign Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio is advancing, according to respected Spanish football writer David Jaca.
The Mirror Football and FourFourTwo writer tweeted:
Musacchio out of Villarreal friendly squad and club secure deal for replacement. Valencia's Víctor Ruiz on loan + €4m buying option. #THFC— David (@davidjaca) August 8, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 6
Tottenham will complete the transfer of Mateo Musacchio, despite the complex nature of the deal that must be set up to lure him from Villarreal.
The Mirror's Darren Lewis, who has been close to the story throughout, reports the latest:
Spurs are confident of completing their deal to sign Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio despite a hitch over third-party ownership issues.
The transfer stalled because of issues relating to Musacchio’s previous club River Plate.
Spurs believe the situation will be resolved, however, and that they will land their man.
Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 5
Tottenham's pursuit of Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio is in trouble of reaching an unwanted conclusion due to the complex nature of the deal.
AS provides the details via 101 Great Goals:
The deal is being held up since Argentine side River Plate have a 35% sell-on clause in Musacchio’s contract.
Sources close to the move have confirmed to AS that this is a “very complicated” transfer to get over the line.
Due to the River Plate clause, Villarreal are now asking for much more money from Spurs, around 50 million euros which is the value of Musacchio’s current release clause.
Tottenham are understood to have offered around 26 million euros for Musacchio and River Plate are unhappy that Villarreal could sell the defender for around half his release fee.
Mauricio Pochettino is reportedly "continuing talks" to bring Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio to White Hart Lane, according to Simon Jones of the Daily Mail.
Tottenham's summer spending has gained momentum under the Argentinian boss—after Andre Villas-Boas dropped well over £100 million on players last year—with Musacchio potentially becoming the club's fourth summer signing after Ben Davies, Michel Vorm and Eric Dier.
Villarreal coach Marcelino indicated Musacchio will move on if the price is right, as per Jones' report:
It's a situation with three parties: the player, the buyer and the club in the middle.
As I have said many times, if the club sell an important player it's because the right conditions to do so have been met.
It won't be easy to replace him but the solution, for better or worse, will be found soon.
Musacchio impressed during 32 appearances for Villarreal last season, where he amassed a WhoScored.com rating of 7.25.
The 23-year-old centre-back is a natural battler, someone who challenges for every ball, and he is gifted at snooping out danger before it becomes significant. He is relatively short for his position, standing around 5'11", but he makes up for this by tackling powerfully and with conviction.
He averaged 2.4 tackles per game last season, as well as 3.4 interceptions and six clearances. Impressively, opponents found it difficult to dribble around Musacchio, who was beaten by rivals just 0.8 times per match.
Spurs have a number of centre-backs on their books, including Michael Dawson, Younes Kaboul, Jan Vertonghen and Vlad Chiriches, but Musacchio has the capacity to strengthen Pochettino's back four through his instinctive game.
Jay Jaffa of Goal.com calls Musacchio "the perfect Pochettino defender," saying, "his experience in midfield at River Plate clearly served him well and he developed a composure on the ball all too rarely seen in centre-backs in England."
As such, Musacchio appears to be a smart addition to the new manager's project. Pochettino drills his teams into playing tidy, free-flowing football made up of short passes and bursts of movement into space.
Musacchio is the type of defender who will step out of defence to capture possession, before cleanly distributing the ball elsewhere.
Will Mauricio Pochettino lead Spurs to higher than last year's sixth-place finish during his first Premier League season in charge?
The youngster would likely find comfort in working under his countryman, making the switch to Premier League football more accessible.
Spurs conceded more goals than any club in the top eight last season, with the creaking legs of Dawson and Kaboul's inconsistency facilitating the north London side's struggles.
A fresh approach is craved, although Musacchio will need an athletic type alongside him to make up for his lack of pace. Vertonghen could certainly fulfill this role with Davies moving to the left, or indeed, Danny Rose making good on his new contract, as per the Press Association (via The Guardian).
Improvements are expected across the defence—and indeed, Spurs' entire line-up. Pochettino showed he can build and develop a highly competitive team at Southampton, so he can ignite Spurs' dreams of returning to the Champions League.
Should Musacchio arrive, he has the potential to lead a defence that appears to be getting younger with every transfer.