Tottenham lead race to sign Hamburg forward Heung-Min Son
South Korean has been watched by Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United - but former Spurs midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has urged Son to remain in Germany
Tottenham are ahead of Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United in the battle to sign Hamburg star Heung-Min Son.
However, the proposed deal could be scuppered by the German club's plan to offer the South Korean international a new contract this week according to The Evening Standard.
Spurs have been keeping tabs on Son, who can play in attack or on the flank and is capable with either foot, throughout the season and were understood to be confident of clinching a deal for the 20-year-old this summer.
Yet despite Hamburg’s delicate financial position — the Bundesliga club will listen to offers for most of their players at the end of the campaign — they are increasingly confident that Son will agree to sign. As things stand today, he would drift out of contract at the end of next season.
Son will be offered a new long-term deal worth €2.7million (£2.3m) a year, which is nearly £45,000 a week. The Evening Standard understands there is likely to be a clause in the contract which would allow Son to leave Hamburg in the summer of 2014 if his valuation, and other conditions, were met.
Should Hamburg manage to tie down Son, it would be a surprise to those who have followed his progress this season. He remains keen on a possible move to Tottenham and only last week is thought to have told friends that he expected to join the White Hart Lane club.
Although little known to English audiences, Son is regarded as one of the best prospects in the Bundesliga.
He is Hamburg’s second-top scorer with nine goals in the Bundesliga this season and, while he still has a habit of drifting out of games, he has the pace and skill to do serious damage.
It is believed that Tottenham first mentioned Son when they were negotiating the sale of Rafael van der Vaart to Hamburg last summer. Although Hamburg insist there has been no official approach for Son, Spurs have shown stronger interest than any club in the Premier League.
He is the kind of player who appeals to Spurs chairman Daniel Levy: young, hungry, relatively low profile and with a high possible re-sale value.
Son would also give his next club greater appeal in South Korea, where English football is very popular.
There is also interest from clubs in Italy and Spain, as well as from other top teams in Germany, but Son would like his next move to be to an English club. While an eventual new deal would not preclude a move to Spurs, the fee Hamburg would demand would be higher than the €10m (£8.5m) his suitors had hoped to pay.
Son and Van der Vaart have established a strong rapport since the Dutchman returned to Hamburg — so much so that the pair were nicknamed “Van der Vater [father] und Son” early in the season — and Van der Vaart believes Son should stay at Hamburg for at least another campaign. The former Spurs player said: “I think for Sonny it would be better to stay here for now. I’m not just saying that because the boy has been in outstanding form.
“It’s the first very good season in his career, he doesn’t have to make a change. At the biggest clubs, you can easily end up on the bench.”
Meanwhile, Heurelho Gomes’s season is over after he broke his left hand during Hoffenheim’s win over Dusseldorf on Friday.
The 32-year-old Brazilian, on a six month loan deal from Tottenham, collided with Andreas Lambertz and has undergone surgery to have four pins inserted in his index finger. Gomes will remain at Hoffenheim for his rehabilitation, Spurs have confirmed.
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