Tottenham Hotspur made an 11th-hour bid to snatch midfielder Moussa Sissoko from under the noses of Everton after manager Mauricio Pochettino told chairman Daniel Levy to get him the midfielder. Everton looked set to sign Sissoko after matching Newcastle United’s £30million valuation of the player, to be paid in instalments. But Sissoko failed to return the calls of Everton manager Ronald Koeman and did not show up to discuss personal terms or take a medical, which allowed Spurs to act. Tottenham had earlier in the day seen a £15.75m offer for Sissoko rejected and claimed they would not meet Newcastle’s asking price. But with only an hour remaining until the transfer window shut, Tottenham dramatically matched Everton’s £30m bid with Sissoko favouring a move to White Hart Lane. It is understood Tottenham’s change of heart came after Pochettino told Levy that he wanted Sissoko, no matter of the cost. The U-turn went against the favoured policy of both Pochettino and Levy not to spend more than £20m on players aged over 25, but it was agreed that 27-year-old Sissoko was the best player Spurs could get at such a late stage.
Sissoko had already been given permission to leave the France camp to be ready for a possible move, leaving Spurs in position to complete a transfer before the final deadline passed. Having completed deals for Espanyol goalkeeper Pau Lopez and winger Georges-Kevin N’Koudou from Marseille, Spurs still wanted one more outfield signing as the transfer clock ticked down. Tottenham last week had a £12million bid rejected by Crystal Palace for Wilfried Zaha, which forced them to look at alternative ways to give Pochettino greater strength in depth. Although he is a very different player to winger Zaha, Sissoko would offer Pochettino greater cover in the middle of the park, following the departure of Nabil Bentaleb and sale of Ryan Mason to Hull City. The France international could also fill in further up the field and allow Pochettino to shuffle his pack.