By Tottenham correspondent Tony Hughes
Tottenham have reservations over signing teenage sensation Breel Embolo – because of the standard of the Swiss league.
Basel spearhead Embolo is on the London club’s shortlist of striker targets as they press ahead with plans to strengthen their attack this summer.
But a well-placed Spurs source has told Football Insider that the club are concerned about signing a player directly from the Swiss league.
Embolo is being closely monitored on the back of his performances for club and country since breaking into the Basel team at the age of 16.
Embolo has been dubbed Switzerland’s biggest prospect since Xherdan Shaqiri. He scored 13 goals and supplied nine assists in 40 appearances in all competitions for Basel this season and is in the Switzerland squad for the European Championship.
The teenager has already been awarded nine senior caps, scoring one goal, and has struck 31 times in 90 matches for Basel.
It is the kind of potential that has attracted a £20million price tag from his club but Spurs’ reservations rest upon the relative mediocrity of the Swiss league.
Embolo’s countrymen Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka have both completed high profile transfers to the Premier League over the last 12 months but both arrived in England via the Bundesliga.
Basel sporting director Georg Heitz admitted at the end of last week that Embolo is headed to one of two destinations as he assessed their prospects of hanging on to the highly rated 19-year-old striker.
“It’s very probable that he’ll leave this summer,” said Heitz, as quoted by Teamtalk. “He’s played for three seasons in our first team and he’s just 19 years old.
“At some point we have to accept that we cannot change our league. The players love our club but realise they have to change their league at some point to develop.
“There are only two countries he could go to: England or Germany.
“I’d recommend him not to make too big a step. He’s intelligent enough to know he needs to go to a place where the coach gives him a chance.”
Pochettino is keen to beef up the Spurs attack after Harry Kane led the front line virtually singlehandedly in the recently completed domestic campaign.
As revealed by Football Insider, Marseille spearhead Michy Batshuay is the No1 target after being extensively scouted by Pochettino’s recruitment team this season.
In other Tottenham transfer news, another White Hart Lane attacker is set to be sold this summer after a decision by Pochettino.