According to Jack Pitt-Brooke of The Independent, the defender is unhappy at being left out of key games against Chelsea and Arsenal recently and "has decided that his future lies away from Tottenham." Manchester United, Manchester City and Barcelona are all said to be keen on signing him.
"The issue between Walker and Pochettino is long-running and boils down to Pochettino’s doubts about Walker’s fitness and his performances in training," noted Pitt-Brooke. "He thinks that Walker struggles to play two big games in a week, a view that Walker seriously disputes."
The England international’s frustrations have reportedly been exacerbated after Kieran Trippier was preferred for the FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea and the crunch clash with the Gunners on Sunday. Walker is subsequently said to have decided he wants to move on.
ESPN FC’s Dan Kilpatrick felt as though Pochettino’s decision to leave Walker out of the lineup for the Arsenal game was a curious one:
According to Pitt-Brooke, Tottenham are in no rush to cash in on the 27-year-old, although they are said to value the right-back between £35 million and £50 million.
Walker has enjoyed the finest season of his career in 2016-17, offering a blistering presence on the right flank for Spurs. Whether deployed as a right-back or as a right wing-back, the England international has a fantastic hunger to get forward, consistently giving his side an outlet.
His game has improved measurably under Pochettino as well. Earlier in his Tottenham career, Walker would constantly find himself out of position in defence, would make poor decisions on the ball and would switch off at crucial moments. Those weaknesses have been ironed out by his coach.
Indeed, given the progress being made by Spurs and the developments Walker has made, the timing of an exit would be strange, as football journalist Patrick Boyland noted:
The list of clubs said to be keen on signing Walker is illustrious, though, and according to the initial report, the defender would earn a lot more at United, City or Barcelona than his current salary of £70,000 a week.
United currently have Antonio Valencia at right-back, and while he’s enjoyed a brilliant season, he turns 32 in August, meaning the Red Devils will be on the lookout for a replacement. Meanwhile, it’s easy to see Walker walking into City or Barcelona’s side, as both lack a quality, bona fide right-back in their current squad.
While all the clubs could make a tempting offer, Walker must ensure he puts a lot of consideration into his next step. It’d be a huge shame to see him undo the rapid progress made at White Hart Lane.
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