We've talked before about the idea that when news is slow, rumors are created to fill the void. New rumors of Tottenham Hotspur readying an £18m bid for Moussa Sissoko could be the latest example of this. This one seems to have roots in a throw-away article on the Metro website and is hedged with a headline that is contained within speculative quotation marks and includes no actual quotes from human people outside of Sissoko himself. He states:
I know the club want me to stay, and this year they will bring in some players.
which of course translates to "Spurs are considering making an offer". I'm no linguistic expert, but I don't translate this the same way.
The idea of Spurs being interested in Sissoko is not ridiculous. We know that when he is mentally involved, he is a handful for any Premier League opposition. Some of his most memorable matches have been against Sky6 opposition. Chelsea shortly after his arrival. Arsenal. He has performed at the highest level against clubs to which he would be interested in moving and the rest, well.... sorry about it. His uneven effort levels have been frustrating to say the least.
It is that uneven effort level problem that really debunks this rumor from the word go. On general skill alone, Moussa should be worth £18m. At least. Based on his performances over the last season, though, there is not a team in their right mind that would offer that sum for him. His inability to turn up week in and week out has hamstrung the efforts to get what he wants - out of Newcastle.
Perhaps a move away from the Northeast would instantly solve these issues, but is it a chance that Sissoko can take? With places on France's 2016 European Championships roster up for grabs based on this season, players are going to need consistent playing time. Perhaps he does get that right away with a move to a "bigger" club. It's much more likely to happen at a club desperate for him to come good so that they can cash in on him, although that's far from guaranteed. With the summer reinforcements already in the door and new lifelines and more suitable tactics being given to players who were considered to have flunked out (we're looking your way, Vurnon Anita), it's harder and harder to justify an automatic selection for Moussa.
It's hard to tell what the future holds for Sissoko. It would seem that he's facing an uphill battle no matter which way he goes. What does seem certain is that while "next" could be at a different club, it certainly won't be following an £18m transfer.