Danny Mills has claimed Tottenham can replace exit-bound Christian Eriksen with Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho this summer.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former England international insisted that Spurs will be forced to sell the Denmark international for a relatively “minimal fee” this summer if they don’t tie him to a new contract.
Eriksen’s current deal expires in the summer of 2020 and talks over an extension have been locked in a stalemate.
Mauricio Pochettino has insisted the club are working on trying to keep hold of the playmaker but admitted there is a chance he could leave in the forthcoming window.
“He’s not irreplaceable,” Mills told Football Insider. “There are good players out there who could replace him – Coutinho is one, Spurs can get him perhaps – but it’s going to cost you an awful lot of money.
“With a year left, we know how frugal Daniel Levy is, you know, is he prepared to wait and let him go for nothing at the end of the following season? Unlikely, so they either need to nail him down and get this contract done and dusted – you’ve got to be loyal to the players who have been loyal to you.
“Or, he leaves for a minimal fee, at that. Eriksen is a quality player, he’s the one, he makes Tottenham tick at times, he dictates the tempo of the play – set pieces, delivery, assists, goal scoring, all those type of things.
“He would be very difficult to replace, he’s not irreplaceable, but it’s going to cost you a lot of money to do it.”
Coutinho’s reputation has been diminished since he left Liverpool in January of last year for £142million including add-ons.
He has scored 11 goals in 52 matches this season for the Spanish champions but was substituted at the hour mark in both legs of the remarkable Champions League semi-final defeat to his former club.