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Tottenham transfer stuff

Mauricio’s Final Signing of the Summer Transfer Window

Mauricio’s Final Signing of the Summer Transfer Window

As is always the case at this time of year, Tottenham Hotspur are being linked with a number of players as the build up to the new Premier League season begins in earnest. Just the two new faces have come into the club thus far this summer, but both are high profile and definitely improve Mauricio Pochettino’s already healthy squad. Marseille’s Georges-Kevin Nkoudou is set to bring that number up to three in the coming days, and he also appears an exciting prospect. Pochettino is one of the smoothest operators around when it comes to bringing players into the football club. It is rare for the Spurs gaffer to sign a dud, and he always ensures that anyone coming in is a hard worker, adds quality, and that they will not upset the harmony in the Tottenham dressing room. As players meeting these criteria are few and far between, I don’t see more than one or two more additions before the end of the month. Let’s have a look at the potential targets.

Danny Drinkwater
One of the star men during Leicester City’s Premier League title success last season, Danny Drinkwater has been strongly linked with Spurs over the last few days. While there is no doubt that Drinkwater was instrumental in the Leicester City story, I’m not sure Tottenham are really in need of another centre midfielder. While he is more of a playmaker than Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier, his return of just two goals in the last two Premier League campaigns is not a great return and I just don’t know if Drinkwater is any better than what Tottenham already have available in the middle of the park. He was a player that will have been popular with punters that had Leicester City among their football accumulator tips last term.

Mattias Ginter
The Borussia Dortmund centre-half is another possible target for Spurs, but like the centre of midfield, I’m just not convinced that the club need more reinforcements in this position. Admittedly, Jan Vertonghen is currently out with ankle ligament damage sustained during training for Belgium prior to Euro 2016 but he should be back shortly after the start of the season. Mauricio Pochettino also has the likes of Today Alderweireld, Kevin Wimmer and even Eric Dier who can all play at the heart of the defence. While I rate Mattias Ginter highly, I don’t envisage us parting with £25m for the German’s services.

Rafa Silva
This looks like a better fit for Tottenham as far as I’m concerned. Portugal international Rafa Silva is reportedly very keen on a move to England, and at just 23 years of age, he has the sell on potential that Daniel Levy craves. Coming off the back of some impressive performances at the recent European Championships, Silva is a versatile player and proven goalscorer who would add something different to that which Mauricio Pochettino currently has at his disposal. Silva has been linked with a number of sides over the past few months including Porto, Everton and Leicester, but it could well be Tottenham who land the exciting young playmaker. Silva would definitely be an interesting addition, especially with Tottenham’s Champions League campaign on the horizon.

Pep Guardiola Fancies Harry Kane

Pep Guardiola Fancies Harry Kane

Manchester City are bound to see some changes in personnel over the next few weeks, following the arrival of new manager Pep Guardiola, and there have been rumours over the past few days that the Spaniard is interested in the services of Tottenham’s own Harry Kane. The former Bayern Munich boss will be spending time with all his current crop of players now the European Championships have reached a conclusion, and it would be no surprise to see Guardiola add some men already proven at the highest level in the Premier League. Since Gareth Bale departed from White Hart Lane, Spurs seem to have stopped selling their biggest name each season, but there has arguably not been a player with the star quality of Harry since Bale was at the football club.

The Tottenham Hotspur board are currently thrashing out a deal with Kane’s agent which is set to push the striker’s wages into the region of £100,000 per week. While this is a huge sum of money, it does not reflect the going rate for a player who has achieved what Harry Kane has over the past couple of seasons. The 22 year old won the Premier League’s Golden Boot at the conclusion of the last campaign with 25 Premier League goals in 38 appearances, this coming off the back of 21 goals in his 2014/15 season. While the recent European Championship wasn’t a success for Harry, his performances for England in the build up to the tournament itself had been outstanding, and only go to enhance his reputation and value further still. I realise that Spurs have a relatively strict wage structure in place, but paying Harry Kane less than the going rate makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, and will do little to frighten off big spending clubs like Manchester City.

I don’t personally believe Harry Kane has an interesting in leaving Tottenham Hotspur, especially at this relatively early stage of his career. He will be able to compete against the very best Europe has to offer in the Champions League this season, and Spurs are definitely a club on the up under manager Mauricio Pochettino. The Spurs boss have given Kane a bit of time off before joining the rest of the squad for his gruelling pre-season training regime, and the front man will no doubt benefit from this having had a very strenuous couple of years. Euro 2016 won’t have done Kane any favours both physically and mentally, but a holiday will likely do him the world of good and I fully expect Kane to have another cracking season come 2016/17. I just hope it isn’t in a Manchester City shirt…

My Cousin Vinny

My Cousin Vinny

Although Tottenham’s pursuit of Vincent Janssen has been somewhat delayed thank to so-called ‘fan’ Billy Beane, it now appears that the club are close to securing the signature of the 22 year old striker. Spurs originally offered AZ Alkmaar £15m for the player’s services, but AZ were told by by Moneyball creator Billy Beane that they should hold out for at least £16.5m based on his statistical analysis of Janssen. Beane used his Moneyball technique in baseball to great effect, but he is yet to achieve a similar level of success within the football arena. Despite the fact that Billy Beane’s method’s don’t appear to work where football clubs are concerned, AZ Alkmaar appointed the 54 year old as an advisor in March 2015. Beane is very close with with former Tottenham Director of Football and Arsenal scout Damien Comolli, which doesn’t bode particularly well as far as improving his knowledge of the transfer market is concerned.

A Dutch international, Vincent Janssen scored in what was only his second appearance for the Netherlands when they defeated England at Wembley earlier this year. Top scorer in Eredivisie last season with a very impressive return of 27 goals, Janssen is clearly a very talented young forward, and seems to have an excellent temperament which is encouraging with a move to the Premier League in mind. The player has stated on more than one occasion that he wants to make the switch to North London, and was was a little frustrated with the fact that Alkmaar were not willing to budge where Billy Beane’s valuation was concerned. With Tottenham seemingly now having met the asking price, personal terms are likely to be agreed quickly and Vincent Janssen could would be a Tottenham Hotspur player within the next few days.

Mauricio Pochettino has been particularly busy in this summer transfer window thus far, and it may well be a blessing in disguise that the move for Tony Sanabria fell through as I feel that Vincent Janssen is the by far the more accomplished player of the two. I fancy Janssen to hit the ground running come the new Premier League season and be a valuable addition to the Spurs squad.

Spurs go to Iceland?

Spurs go to Iceland?

Rumours have been circulating this week regarding Iceland defender Ragnar Sigurdsson’s services being wanted by both Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City. Sigurdsson was superb during Iceland’s 2-1 victory over England in the last sixteen of the 2016 European Championship this past Monday night, and the player’s performances throughout the tournament have caught the attention of a number of high profile clubs. Sigurdsson is currently plying his trade in Russia with Premier League side Krasnodar whom he joined in 2014 on a two and a half year deal. The 30 year old spent the best part of four years at IFK Goteborg, before signing for Copenhagen in 2011. A big money move to the EPL is obviously going to make plenty of appeal to Ragnar Sigurdsson at this stage of his footballing life, but I would be surprised if he joined Spurs instead of Leicester.

Tottenham have a number of options at centre half, and even with the number of competitions the club are involved in taken into consideration, I doubt Ragnar Sigurdsson would get much of a chance in the first team. The partnership of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld is arguably one of the very best in Europe, and unless one of these two get injured, I can’t really see Mauricio Pochettino leaving either man out of the side too often. For the League and FA Cup, we are likely to see a squad rotation policy utilised, but I’d be surprised if Sigurdsson is going to want to be bit part player at this stage of his career. The Icelandic defender has well and truly put himself in the shop windows this summer, and a move to Leicester would make more sense to me.

Kevin Wimmer was excellent when covering for the absent Jan Vertonghen for a large part of the 2015/16 campaign, and I’d imagine that the Austrian will once again be Pochettino’s go to guy. Eric Dier is also capable of dropping back into defence when required, and I struggle to see where Ragnar Sigurdsson would fit into this already strong Tottenham squad. While Sigurdsson has looked exceptional during the Euros, it is open to question as to whether or not he would be able to produce the same level of performance week in week out in the Premier League, and it is also surprising that the player has not been signed by a big club before now. While the more options Tottenham have within their playing ranks the better, I just feel that a move to another Premier League team would be the preferred option for Ragnar Sigurdsson. It will be interesting to see how this one unfolds in the coming days.

Who is Antonio Sanabria?

Who is Antonio Sanabria?

Spurs have been strongly linked with Paraguayan striker Antonio Sanabria today, but the former Barcelona man is hardly what you would call a household name. Having been a part of Barca’s youth set up since 2009, Sanabria was unable to make the breakthrough into the first team, and ultimately signed for Italian side Sassuolo in January 2014. It would later come to light that the player would be moving to Roma come July, as Roma had already reached their quota of foreign players at that time. Roma appeared desperate to get Antonio’s signature, but the striker made just two first team appearances before going out on loan, returning to Spain with Sporting de Gijón. It is at Sporting where Sanabria has made a significant impact, scoring a brace as well as two hat-tricks in his year long loan spell.

Also known as Tonny Sanabria, the Paraguay international’s performances in Spain have caught the attention of Tottenham gaffer Mauricio Pochettino, and Spurs have made an offer believed to be in the region of £11.5m for the young striker’s services. Obviously a player who still has a serious amount of potential, Sanabria is going to be somewhat of a gamble, but he has been sought after by a number of clubs throughout his career thus far and is clearly a talent. Whether he is able to produce the goods in the Premier League on a consistent basis is open to question, but this is the sort of transfer fee where you are going to be taking a bit of a gamble. On the positive side, Sanabria is still very young but will have had a very sound grounding in the game during his time at Barcelona. His spell at Sporting de Gijón was the player’s only real opportunity to show exactly what he is capable of, having got a significant run of games at a club for the first time in his career.

My one concern is the fact Tottenham brought in both Clinton N’Jie and Son Heung-min from other countries last season, with neither able to make much of an impact at the football club. Admittedly, N’Jie was injured for the bulk of the season, but maybe we need a proven Premier League goalscorer to support Harry Kane at the top of the park rather than players who need to adjust to the rigours of the English top flight. The price for a striker of this ilk would obviously be significantly higher, but if Tottenham are to continue to challenge at the top of the Premier League table while also being competitive in the Champions League, it’s one worth paying.

Pochettino Finally Gets His Man

Pochettino Finally Gets His Man

Although Southampton are usually happy to sell their best players for the right price, it has taken Mauricio Pochettino quite some time to capture the signature of midfielder Victor Wanyama, with a deal finally set to be completed in the next couple of days. The Saints have recently lost manager Ronald Koeman after the Dutchman made the move to Everton, and it’s likely that Wanyama felt he needed to leave St Marys to further his career. The lure of Champions League football and joining a team likely to be involved in the Premier League title race, was probably too good of an offer for the Kenyan international to turn down. Tottenham are rumoured to be paying a fee of £11m for the talented midfielder’s services, with Wanyama expected to put pen to paper on a four year deal.

With Mousa Dembele having received a six game ban following his violent conduct against Chelsea’s Diego Costa at the end of last season, Victor Wanyama’s arrival will help to soften that blow. The benefit of signing a tried and trusted Premier League star is the fact they will generally hit the ground running, and the settling in period should be minimal. With Wanyama also having previously worked with the current Spurs boss, he should definitely be able to slot straight into the Tottenham starting line up with the minimum of fuss. Wanyama alongside Eric Dier will certainly be a Spurs midfield with plenty of bite, and could well make Mauricio Pochettino’s side even more difficult to beat than they were last term.

At just 24 years of age, Victor Wanyama fits the Tottenham Hotspur mould of signing young players likely to rise in value, and Daniel Levy definitely had to pay a lot more for the player had he not been in the final year of his deal at Southampton. Having began his career at Beerschot AC, Wanyama has made rapid progress, and has established himself as a serious force in the Premier League since his arrival at St Marys in 2013. The first Kenyan to play in the English top flight, Wanyama is a tough tackler but does generally have a level head and has come across as a hard worker during his time at both Celtic and Southampton. This signing definitely appears to be one that improves the Tottenham squad, and it’s a great way for Mauricio Pochettino to get his summer transfer market dealings underway.

Spurs striking options – who could make a difference?

Spurs striking options – who could make a difference?

Tottenham invested heavily over the summer as they tried to fill the void left by Gareth Bale, and while they have filled his place in midfield they are seriously missing his goal scoring exploits.
Although new signing Roberto Soldado has been more than promising, the side do at times look short of a striker.We’ve taken a look at some of the strikers Spurs may look towards in the coming transfer windows, just to whet the appetite of any football transfer betting fans out there

Javier Hernandez
The diminutive striker is Tottenham’s main target and many believe the Mexican would be open to a move to London. With Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie ahead of him in the Manchester United pecking order it is rumoured that he wants to leave. He wants to be firing on all cylinders for the 2014 World Cup and although United boss David Moyes doesn’t want to sell the striker, he may be able to force through a £15million move.

Christian Benteke
There has been a lot of talk that Spurs may try and sign Benteke in January. There can be no doubting Benteke’s quality; last season his goals alone kept Aston Villa up. Paddy Power price Benteke at 25/1 to be the league’s top scorer but if he were to move to Tottenham expect those odds to tumble. Signing Benteke midway through the season would not be easy as Villa are financially sound and not willing to sell a star player. If Villas-Boas turns towards Benteke then he will need to shell out well over £25million. A move for Benteke is doubtful at best.

Stephen El Shaarawy
The 20-year-old has fallen out of favour at AC Milan and would fit the Tottenham mantra perfectly. El Shaarawy impressed last season but has seen his game time marginalized since the arrival of Mario Balotelli and is rumoured to want out. With a credible goal scoring record and plenty of years left in him, Tottenham would be very interested in bringing him to North London. If they can stump up the required £25million then Shaarawy could well be heading to the Lane.

Bye Bye Benny

Bye Bye Benny

Benoit Assou-Ekotto has been a largely permanent fixture in the Tottenham side for a number of years now. During the 2008–09 campaign, Ekotto became first choice in the left back role and has made the position his own until fairly recently. Benny hasn’t impressed Andre Villas-Boas since his arrival as Tottenham manager and following limited chances in the first team, the Cameroon international has made the decision to move to QPR on load for the remainder of the season.

Personally, I love Benoit. He’s got a personality that a lot of other footballers lack and his Twitter LOLs are legendary. An honest guy, maybe this was part of the problem as far as Villas-Boas was concerned. Assou-Ekotto made no bones about the fact that he was in football for the money and also commented that the majority of his fellow professionals claiming otherwise were not being truthful. The bulk of the player’s performances on the pitch for Spurs have been of a high standard, but he is prone to the odd lapse in concentration. This likely also contributed to the Spurs’ manager’s decision to offload Ekotto.

One thing is for sure, the arrival of Benoit Assou-Ekotto at Queens Park Rangers is sure to help the promotion chances of Harry Redknapp’s side. At Championship level, Assou-Ekotto’s quality will stand out like a sore thumb and while he may not always know what team he is going to face come game time, he’ll always give 100% on the pitch. Whether the move will negatively affect Tottenham’s league ambitions is open to questions but they are arguably short of quality at left back now. The bookies are struggling to split Spurs and Arsenal as far as a top four finish is concerned, as has been the case for the last few seasons. Arsenal have always come out on top thus far, but if you are considering betting on Spurs, try www.onlinebettingoffers.com for betting offers.

Benny wasn’t the only player to head for West London from the Lane yesterday. In a surprising move, Andre Villas-Boas also allowed exciting young midfielder Tom Carroll to join QPR on a season long loan. A bright prospect, Carroll has always impressed when given a chance in the Spurs first team, and he will also bring significant quality to Harry Redknapp’s squad.

Bale to Real claims in Spanish Newspaper Marca

Bale to Real claims in Spanish Newspaper Marca

It may not be the most reliable source of information in the world, but Spanish newspaper Marca are claiming that Gareth Bale is on the brink of agreeing a six deal with La Liga giants Real Madrid. According to Marca, Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett has met with senior officials at Madrid and worked out a lucrative long term contract for his prize asset. Also mentioned in the article is the fact that Barnett told Real president Florentino Perez that Bale has “wanted to play at Real Madrid since he was a kid,” and showed him a photograph of the player wearing a Madrid shirt when he was 10 years old. That’s when my bullshit radar hit the red zone.

Tottenham and Real Madrid have a partnership agreement and both clubs have claimed that no offer has been made or accepted. I really can’t see Gareth Bale’s agent going behind Levy’s back to negotiate a deal with another club that Spurs themselves have a great relationship with. Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas reiterated the club’s stance on the transfer of Bale today;

“I want to repeat what I was telling you last season and what I was telling you from the beginning of pre-season so I cannot extend myself.

“He is a player that we are willing to continue to have. He’s a Tottenham player, he’s one of the most fantastic players in the world at the moment and we are counting on him for the future.”

Bale doesn’t look like being in the 2014 mobile World Cup betting picture as his Wales side are languishing in 4th spot in qualification, and it could be that he’s keen to embark on a new challenge on the world stage. I personally expect Bale to remain at White Hart Lane for another year, and depending on what Spurs achieve this coming season, he might well be on the move come the end of the campaign.

For more information on the 2014 World Cup, visit www.wcaction.com.

Transfer Time

Transfer Time

The summer transfer window turns even the most rational of supporters into a distracted and impatient character. Each passing day is an endless root through tabloid back pages, blogs and social media. The search is not dissimilar to that of a pig looking for truffles. The quarry here though isn’t an overpriced mushroom, rather an overpriced bloke who’s handy with a football.

Tottenham Hotspur, are possibly one of the biggest gifts to the rumour mongers and gossip columns in the entire Premier League. The club doesn’t have fortunes to spend, but is capable of pulling the odd rabbit from the hat. Think Luka Modric, think Dimitar Berbatov. Add to this the absence of Champions League football and the restriction of on only having a little over 36,000 seats to sell at every home game and you have all the ingredients required for transfer dilemmas galore.

Spurs routinely sell out their home games and the plans for new stadium have moved from the architect’s drawing board to Rudoplh’s being boarded up and construction work on the new Sainsburys obviously beginning to get underway. This is all good news to fans as securing Tottenham tickets for such a comparatively small venue can be less than straightforward.

So until the doors to the new stadium open, Tottenham will have to cut their cloth according to the size of their purse when it comes to transfers. Just as they ever have. The acquisition of Paulinho looks to be an inspired one. Voted the 3rd best player at the recent Confederations Cup, he gives every indication of being precisely what the Spurs midfield needs to step up a gear. The suggestion is that Scott Parker may be the man to move on to accommodate his arrival. The idea of Paulinho and Sandro teamed up for Tottenham is appealing, to put it mildly.

Despite the transformation of Gareth Bale from left back, to left wing, to free roaming attacker, the Lilywhites are now in urgent need of an upgrade on their strikers. Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe have both failed to measure up. Adebayor seems incapable of simply joining a side and doing what he’s paid to do without incident and complication. Jermain Defoe’s issues stem from his seeming inability to vary his game play. At his best he can score from nothing. At his worst, when he isn’t offside, he’s horribly selfish.

The name of Leandro Damiao has gone from being one that got Spurs fans salivating, to one that got them irritated. His non transfer has dragged on for three windows and recently the Internacional president revealed that he hadn’t received a single confirmed bid for the player since the beginning of the year. For whatever reason, this a move that is no longer worth speculating over.

Which leaves one man in pole position as Tottenham’s primary striking target, Barcelona’s David Villa. The Spanish legend would be a perfect fit at WHite Hart Lane from a number of perspectives. Firstly, he isn’t a stand alone front man, and would perhaps offer a role not a million miles away from that provided by Van Der Vaart. Secondly, despite lacking Premier League experience, this man is a World Cup winner and a seasoned professional of the highest calibre. Lastly, he would deliver the style of football that Spurs fans crave.

The new season looms and although it is probably said at this time every year, this one looks like being one of real consequence football 2013 – 14 tickets will be like gold dust at The Lane and rightly so. Tottenham spent the bulk of last season with depleted resources. Not only were they never able to replace Modric or Van Der Vaart, but they had to combat the sustained absences of both Younes Kaboul and Sandro.
To have achieved a 5th place finish under such circumstances might not have been miraculous, but it was admirable. With just a few key additions, a Champions League qualifying spot surely awaits.