It would be an “absolute disaster” for Tottenham to lose Heung-min Son, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Premier League striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested there could be several first-team stars looking to quit Spurs after their poor season.
The South Korea international, 28, has been offered a new five-year deal worth £200,000-a-week but negotiations have been put on hold until the summer.
His current terms are set to expire in 2023.
Spurs currently sit sixth in the Premier League table, three points off fourth.
Whelan insisted players like Son would be looking to quit Tottenham if they are not playing European football next season.
Asked if Spurs would be able to replace Son if sold, Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “You can, I guess. It costs a lot of money but what would the Tottenham fans think?
“You’re not going to sign Gareth Bale. You might lose Harry Kane and then you might lose Son as well, who’s been so consistent for them in the time he’s been there. Sometimes he’s been the only one that can hold the mantle when Harry Kane is not in the side.
“That would be an absolute disaster, especially with the stadium they’ve got that deserves these European nights. They’re not going to be in Europe.
“There’s going to be a lot of players that will expect to be in Europe and want to go play in the Champions League.
“Sometimes, if you can’t give them that, then they’ll want to leave.”