Tottenham still need to offload players as Christian Eriksen closes in on Inter Milan transfer

Dan Kilpatrick
Getty Images

Christian Eriksen is edging closer to a move to Inter Milan, as Tottenham attempt to accelerate their January transfer plans by offloading overseas players.

Eriksen's agent, Martin Schoots, was last night in talks with Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta in central Milan.

It is believed Eriksen, 27, has already agreed a four or four-and-a-half year deal with Inter and would like to leave this month after being jeered by sections of the home crowd in last week matches against Liverpool and Middlesbrough.

Spurs would also prefer to complete a deal this month, rather than at the end of the season when Eriksen could leave for nothing, but Inter – who are on the verge of signing Ashley Young from Manchester United – are yet to meet their asking price of around £17million.

Spurs are conscious of the need to offload foreign players after Gedson Fernandes, who joined on an 18-month loan from Benfica last week, became the 18th 'non-locally trained' player in Jose Mourinho's squad.

Uefa only allows 17 foreign players in clubs' 25-man Champions League squads and, as it stands, Spurs would have to offload two overseas players to make room for one non-English signing.

Mourinho is desperate to add a striker to his squad before the end of the month, with AC Milan's Poland international Krzysztof Piątek still a target, while the club have been offered a host of players, from former forward Fernando Llorente to Juventus midfielder Emre Can.

Spurs have been stung by Uefa's regulations because Eric Dier and Ben Davies, who were raised in Portugal and Wales respectively, count as overseas players, despite the former having captained England.

Juan Foyth, who is still unsure of his own future this month, does not count as a foreign player, however, because he is young enough for the 'B list'.

Spurs have previously had to exclude Foyth and former striker Vincent Janssen from their Champions League squads and transfer-listed midfielder Victor Wanyama – whose brother McDonald Mariga won the competition under Mourinho at Inter – is likely to be a fall guy if he is still at the club on February 1.

Wanyama rejected a move to Belgian outfit Club Bruges over money in the summer and there has been scant interest in the Kenyan, who has played just 12 minutes under Mourinho, this month.

Fall guy: Wanyama looks set to miss out on the Champions League squad if he doesn't leave Spurs this month (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

With Eriksen finally closing in on a departure, Mourinho is unlikely to start to playmaker at Vicarage Road, particularly after Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela impressed in the win over Boro. The Denmark international has started the last five matches but Mourinho's tone changed after the FA Cup third-round replay win, when he said Eriksen could leave with his "head up".

The Portuguese is without long-term absentees Moussa Sissoko (knee) and Harry Kane (hamstring) at in-form Watford, but Hugo Lloris (elbow), Davies (ankle) and Tanguy Ndombele (hip) are nearing fitness, even if tomorrow's match will come too soon for the trio. Mourinho's squad has also been boosted by the emergence of 20-year-old defender Japhet Tanganga, who is pushing for a third consecutive start, and Fernandes could be included.

Read more

Spurs chairman Levy open to playing Premier League matches abroad

Watford vs Tottenham: Prediction, TV, live stream, team news- Preview

Kane out of Euro 2020? Spurs likely to lose striker for 'six months'