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Tottenham Interest in Lallana Shouldn't Worry Liverpool

Learning Spurs are in for Liverpool's top transfer target might seem as though it should be worrying after the past few summers. This year, it shouldn't be.

Paul Gilham

With Mauricio Pochettino landing at Tottenham, it was only a matter of time—minutes as it turned out—before the rumours would begin to fly linking Adam Lallana with a move to follow him there. Liverpool fans, off a few seasons of missing out on targets to Spurs, were by and large less than thrilled to read the inevitable headlines popping up about Liverpool's top transfer target.

They shouldn't be concerned by the inevitable Lallana to Spurs talk. Perhaps most importantly, unlike in recent summers, this time Liverpool have the Champions League to offer. Spurs don't. Spurs also don't have the promise of Gareth Bale's sale to fund a £100M shopping spree, meaning that even if they do now want Lallana, they aren't positioned to overpay for him.

That means they won't have money spend—they're a financially healthy top half club whose spending power may not end up far off Liverpool's—but without the Bale money they can't behave as sides like Manchester City, PSG, and Real Madrid regularly do and wildly overpay for any and every player that catches their fancy with no consideration for overall transfer policy.

It's a similar limitation to the one stopping Liverpool from simply throwing £30M at Southampton to wrap the Lallana deal up yesterday. Sure, Liverpool could pay that much if they decided they simply had to have Lallana no matter the cost. But they won't, because doing so would completely undermine their larger transfer strategy and hurt them later in the summer.

The low £20M range, and even that with add-ons, appears the top end of the market for Lallana. Selecting Pochettino as their manager might put Spurs in the running for him, then, but it doesn't automatically mean a bidding war. It might even be good for Liverpool to have a second club showing interest and Southampton still not being offered the kind of fee they're hoping for.

In that situation—at least two clubs and a deal likely to cap out somewhere in the £20-25M range rather than the £25-30M Southampton are hoping for—it then becomes a question of what Lallana wants. Certainly in that case Pochettino will be a draw. But so too will be Brendan Rodgers after this past season. And so to will Liverpool's involvement in the Champions League.

Spurs can still afford to spend. What they aren't are any better positioned than Liverpool to wildly overspend without it hurting them in the larger picture. Most importantly, after a few years of seeming the more promising footballing option, they don't have the draw of the Champions League they were supposed to after last summer's massive outlay. Liverpool do.

Liverpool fans like to worry. And after the past few seasons, they particularly like to worry about Spurs in the transfer market. They don't have to any more, at least not this summer.

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