With football under lock and key until at least mid-May in the most optimistic circumstances, you might forgive clubs for taking one eye off the ball with regards to transfers.
According to Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen, however, it’s quite the opposite.
The Belgian defender is out of contract in the summer, and there is a growing expectation he will leave after reports claimed last month that Spurs have been unable to agree an extension on his current terms.
But while the Covid-19 lockdown has brought about a state of financial turmoil that threatens to derail any big-money deals this summer, players in Vertonghen’s situation – available on a free from June – are in even greater demand than normal.
“I’m free and many clubs don’t have the money to do transfers. Free players like me are even more coveted in the coronavirus crisis. Since January, a number of clubs have come forward with serious proposals.
“I want to continue at the top level for a few more years and I would like to play European football next season. The Spanish and Italian leagues are the most obvious for the time being, but I will keep all options open.”
In line with their campaign to sign every Premier League player over the age of 30, Inter are one side said to be in the mix for Vertonghen, while it’s unclear where Spanish interest could be coming from.
Atlético Madrid seem like a reasonable educated guess, while Barcelona might be on the lookout for a budget option should Samuel Umtiti depart for the Premier League. Arsenal, Manchester United and most recently Chelsea have all been linked.