If Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino had thought he had gone through a tough season, it does not look like the summer break is about to get any easier for him.
With the date of the transfer deadline day changing to 9th August, instead of the end of the month, clubs in the Premier League have much less time to conduct their business and get the players they want in, while trying to ship out those deemed surplus to requirements.
With some of the least activity in the windows over recent years, Pochettino may be looking to find himself busier this year, as he looks to build on a successive top four finish and an improved performance on the European stage.
However, while looking for new recruits, he will also have to be managing the sales of his own players, some of which will obviously need replacing.
A new name appears to have joined that list, with Mousa Dembele reported by Calcio Mercato to have handed the club a major bombshell over him not renewing his contract, a move which has reportedly left Spurs green lighting his exit this summer.
The 30-year-old is a top star at Tottenham and finding a man to fill his boots will be tough – but with Manchester City said to be eyeing up a swoop for the Belgian, Pochettino might be able to pull off a shock swap.
The target at the Etihad Stadium should be Ilkay Gundogan, a quality player who, due to the vast talent at City, is not a regular starter, with just 14 Premier League appearances in the starting XI.
Tenacious, versatile and with an eye for both a pass and a goal – scoring six times and chipping in with seven assists – the 27-year-old has the ability to slot into the Spurs midfield and bring them not only a replacement for Dembele, but a star who can offer them what they lack right now.
If the Belgian international is going, a replacement must be sourced, and if City are the club to pounce, then Gundogan will only find himself with less playing time – unless a swap goes ahead.
In other Tottenham news, one BBC pundit has slated Spurs for going backwards this season.