Tottenham Hotspur are rumoured to be lining up a shock move for West Ham United striker Andy Carroll, as they look to find temporary cover for their injured captain Harry Kane.
After failing to sign a single first-team player in the summer transfer window, Spurs have been hit hard by the news of Kane being ruled out until March with an ankle injury. In addition, Son Heung-min is missing key matches while appearing for South Korea at the Asian Cup, while Dele Alli picked up a hamstring injury against Fulham on Sunday.
With backup striker Fernando Llorente only managing to contribute an own-goal at the weekend, Spurs are believed (via the Sun) to be preparing to take drastic measures to plug the gaping hole left by Kane's absence, with Carroll being lined up as a stop-gap replacement. The towering forward could be available for as little as £2m, as his contract expires in the summer.
The report claims the Hammers would be unwilling to sanction the deal while uncertainties remain over the future of Marko Arnautović, who has been repeatedly been linked with a move to China during the current transfer window. However, the most recent reports have suggested that the Austrian will stay with the club, after Guangzhou Evergrande withdrew a £45m bid.
While the financial element of the deal certainly makes sense, it would be fair to argue that this kind of transfer rumour is continually bandied about when a team are looking to replace a sturdy striker. Last season Chelsea were linked with the likes of Carroll, Peter Crouch and Christian Benteke during a striker crisis, but unsurprisingly, the deals failed to come to fruition.
In other news, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has challenged his players to seize the opportunity for first team football, following Alli's hamstring injury. The Argentinian manager claimed Thursday's Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Chelsea would be an ideal opportunity for a backup player to shine and make their case for regular first team football.