Tottenham prepare to sell Etienne Capoue as Sherwood streamlines squad

• Capoue told he is at bottom of midfield pecking order
• Lewis Holtby may be sold and Nacer Chadli wants move

Tottenham Hotspur will listen to offers this month for Etienne Capoue, who has fallen from favour under the new manager, Tim Sherwood.

The France international, who joined from Toulouse for a fee rising to £11m last August, has said that he loves the passion of the English game. But it has been made clear to him that he is at the bottom of Sherwood's midfield pecking order and he may benefit from regular football elsewhere, particularly as he looks to force his way into France's World Cup squad.

Sherwood did start Capoue in midfield alongside Mousa Dembélé at Manchester United on New Year's Day, in Tottenham's 2-1 Premier League win, but the manager has tended to prefer the France youth international Nabil Bentaleb, whom he knows from his previous role as the club's academy co-ordinator. Capoue is aware that Sherwood's options in midfield will swell further when Sandro, Paulinho and Gylfi Sigurdsson return from injury and that the manager would play any of them ahead of him.

Capoue looked imposing at the beginning of the season and it was notable that André Villas-Boas, the then manager, started him ahead of Sandro against Swansea City and Arsenal. He suffered an ankle injury at the Emirates that ruled him out for two months but Villas-Boas reintegrated him, before his fortunes turned again following Sherwood's appointment and Bentaleb's elevation.

Lewis Holtby, who has also struggled for playing time under Sherwood, although he has been hampered by a minor injury, has emerged as a target for his former club, Schalke. But while Tottenham would not block the midfielder's permanent sale, they would demand a fee considerably in excess of the bargain £1.5m they paid to Schalke in January of last year. The Bundesliga club would prefer a loan deal.

Nacer Chadli's agent, meanwhile, says that his client wants to leave Tottenham in order to protect his World Cup ambitions with Belgium. Chadli, like Capoue, was signed in the summer and has failed to hold down a starting place. His agent, Daniel Evrard, said: "The World Cup is arriving so it's a problem."

David Hytner

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Tottenham secure Etienne Capoue from Toulouse in €11m deal
Toulouse's French international Etienne Capoue has snubbed Cardiff in favour of a move to Tottenham

David Hytner

09, Aug, 2013 @2:56 PM

Article image
Tottenham prepare £64.4m bid for Juventus's Paulo Dybala
Tottenham are preparing a £64.4m bid for Paulo Dybala and have been offered the chance to sign Barcelona’s Coutinho on loan

Fabrizio Romano

06, Aug, 2019 @10:35 PM

Article image
Tottenham looking to bolster squad with Fenerbahce's Semih Senturk
Tottenham Hotspur are thought to be considering a move for Fenerbahce's Semih Senturk

Dominic Fifield

22, Dec, 2010 @11:01 PM

Article image
Tottenham Hotspur sell Lewis Holtby to Hamburg for £4.6m
Tottenham have made a healthy profit on Lewis Holtby, who they signed for £1.5m from Schalke in 2013

David Hytner

01, Jul, 2015 @9:42 PM

Article image
Antonio Conte fears Tottenham squad is weaker after January transfers
Antonio Conte has said his squad may have been weakened and that Spurs’s transfer policy will slow the rate at which he can make the team competitive

PA Media and Guardian sport

17, Feb, 2022 @11:03 AM

Article image
Tottenham loan Djed Spence to Leeds in Ange Postecoglou’s squad clear-out
Tottenham have loaned Djed Spence to Leeds for the season as part of a drive to ship out unwanted players before Friday night’s transfer deadline.

David Hytner

30, Aug, 2023 @4:03 PM

Article image
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy mocks ‘unsustainable’ spending
Tottenham’s chairman, Daniel Levy, has hit out at Premier League clubs’ summer spending, describing it as ‘unsustainable’

Mark Dobson

25, Jul, 2017 @8:48 PM

Article image
Premier League: Middlesbrough put their foot down over Tottenham's bid for Stewart Downing

Winger is staying despite asking for a move, say Middlesbrough

Louise Taylor

05, Jan, 2009 @7:32 PM

Article image
Tottenham complete signing of Victor Wanyama from Southampton
Tottenham Hotspur have completed the signing of Victor Wanyama from Southampton for a fee of around £11m, with the Kenyan midfielder signing a five-year deal at White Hart Lane

Alan Smith

23, Jun, 2016 @9:04 PM

Article image
Everton battle with Tottenham over Southampton midfielder Højbjerg
Everton have bid £18m for the Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg but Tottenham are also in negotiations

David Hytner and Ben Fisher

16, Jul, 2020 @10:27 PM