When last we visited Kevin Wimmer’s transfer prospects, the word was that our Austrian center back had come to terms with Tottenham Hotspur and would be moving to London this summer.
When asked about the deal, Wimmer responded with the calm yet firm demeanor that colors his defending,
“Nothing is set.”
At the time, that seemed like simple avoidance. Using the fact that the club had yet to agree on a price for the transfer, Wimmer was able to avoid talking about it before absolutely necessary and keep the focus on his task of helping the club stay in the Bundesliga.
Because nobody, by then, thought there was even a slight chance that Wimmer would be playing in Germany for the 2015-16 season.
This morning, there is some indication that perhaps there was more behind the deal not yet being done than financial figures.
The Daily Star reports that Tottenham’s primary rival, Arsenal, may be inserting themselves into the equation.
According to the tabloid report, Arsenal center back and World Cup winner Per Mertesacker put Wimmer’s name in coach Arsene Wenger’s ear, and Wenger has since been keeping tabs on the 22-year-old.
Mauricio Pochettino’s reported bid of £5 million could have put an end to Wenger’s plans, but with nothing inked, Wimmer’s services are still theoretically available . . . for the right price. Wimmer is young enough and raw enough for most to believe he has yet to reach his full potential. His solid play in the Bundesliga infers the potential of his having a high ceiling. Pair that with his being under contract into 2019, and the asking price can be fairly high. If a bidding war breaks out between two rival clubs over the man . . . all the better for the coffers at 1. FC Köln.
Because Wimmer is not returning to Köln. That part of the deal is already settled. As Marcel Koller, head coach of the Austrian national side has said, “He moves to England in the summer.”
It’s unlikely that is simple speculation. National team coaches and players often discuss what career options might be best for that players’ future as a national-squad member. The Premiership is often considered the premiere place for internationals to sharpen their skill set and to best keep themselves highly visible to their home federation . . . this, despite England’s long-term irrelevance in international football and the fact that a majority of the current world champions play in the Bundesliga . . . and even maybe despite the struggles of Premiership sides in European competition.
Some things never change, even in the fact of overwhelming evidence, eh? That television deal speaks pretty loudly here.
But that’s all part of the off-pitch game. Jörg Schmadtke will not be displeased to have multiple teams bidding for any of his players. There is no long-term downside to that. It shows that the club is developing talent desired elsewhere, and will provide the money to help the club’s primary goal of establishing itself as a permanent fixture in Germany’s top flight.
So, let’s put it to auction, with the biggest dollar/pound/euro figure winning the item. We appear to have started at £5 million, so do I hear six?!
No, Arsene, you can’t throw-in Lukas Podolski . . .