Tottenham and West Ham go head to head to sign same four players this summer - sources
By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Huge rivals on the pitch, the antipathy between Tottenham and West Ham is also growing off it.
The divide between the London rivals is set to increase even further this summer as the two clubs go head to head over a number of key transfer targets.
Football Insider has learned that Spurs and the Hammers are both interested in signing at least four of the same players during the forthcoming window.
Here, we profile the quartet and why they are the subject of so much interest from the London duo.
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Young, fast and increasingly prolific, the forward is yet another product of the prolific Belgian system that has provided the Premier League with so many outstanding players in recent seasons. Batshuayi has scored 24 goals in 51 matches for Marseille this season, persuading scouts from English big-hitters to beat a regular path to southern France. With each goal, his price tag has gone up and it is likely to cost somewhere near £30million to lure the Belgium international to England this summer. Spurs have identified Batshuayi as their priority striker target after being convinced that he will immediately strengthen a front line heavily reliant on Harry Kane as well as provide the potential for improvement. West Ham are also keen and can offer the youngster a regular starting position from the off.
Club: Sao Paulo (on loan)
The Argentine forward has attracted Premier League interest since scoring 21 goals in 53 matches for former club Boca Juniors. He has since been loaned to Sao Paulo for six months via a Uruguayan club and 10 matches for the Brazilian side in 2016 have yielded an impressive eight goals. It has been reported in Brazil that Spurs have already reached a verbal agreement to sign Calleri this summer, although West Ham are weighing up a loan move for the striker. Any deal for the youngster will be complicated, as any buyer wanting to negotiate a permanent deal would have to buy his registration outright from an investment group. However, Calleri will also be granted an Italian passport this summer – he qualifies via his grandparents – which will mean he can move to the Premier League without any need for a work permit.
Position: Attacking midfield
Impressed during a season-long loan from Udinese in 2014-15 but the Argentine playmaker was reduced to fringe status when he completed a permanent move to Juventus last summer. Injuries and non-selection led to him appearing just 16 times in all competitions. The Serie A champions are ready to cash in on the Argentina international and have placed a £13million price tag on him. Reports claimed last week that West Ham had made an £11.4million bid for the Argentina international after keeping close tabs on him in recent months. It is said Tottenham are set to make an offer for the 25-year-old, who is under contract with Italy’s biggest club until 2020.
Position: Centre-back or left-back
The Cameroon-born star’s rise was confirmed when he was named on the stand-by list for France’s Euro 2016 squad. This came on the back of an impressive campaign in which the versatile defender was a mainstay of the Lyon team that finished second in Ligue 1. Mauricio Pochettino took the unusual step of telling a French radio station that Umtiti is one of the players on Spurs’ radar as they look to reinforce their impressive back line this summer. “Yes, Umtiti is an interesting player with great potential that could come to England,” Pochettino said, when asked specifically about the youngster. “He is one of the players that our recruitment team is following.” However, West Ham are also keeping close tabs on the player and are reportedly in pole position to land his signature this summer.
In other Tottenham transfer news, the club are keeping close tabs on a highly rated Holland central midfielder.