Tottenham Transfers: Playing True or False with the Big Spurs Rumours
As we enter into the third week of the January Transfer Window, it's go-time in the transfer market for Europe's biggest teams.
The first couple of weeks of the transfer window are usually quiet as speculation reaches a fever pitch over who is transferring where, but the last couple weeks are when all the speculation resolves.
Tottenham are not exempt from this phenomenon. Over the last couple of weeks, numerous players have been linked with a move to Spurs, while other players have been linked with moves away from Spurs.
Some of these stories are expected, and may actually date back all the way to the summer, while others are rather new and have only come about this January.
Let's break each potential transfer down and assess whether it will take place or not.
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This is one that may just drag on till the end of the window. But then again, at Spurs, we're used to this: Redknapp always waits till he can get the best possible deal for a player before purchasing him (see: Rafael van der Vaart, Emmanuel Adebayor, or Scott Parker).
However, no matter how long it takes for Samba to transfer, it's practically a certainty that he will transfer.
L'Equipe of France have already quoted Samba as saying that he intends to leave Blackburn this January, and of course the fact that he missed last week's game with an alleged stomach virus after training excellently all week long (according to manager Steve Kean) no doubt adds to the speculation.
And if all that doesn't do it for you, there's the fact that he has (as of 15 minutes prior from me writing this) put in a transfer request to leave.
Spurs will likely face competition from cash-rich Paris Saint-Germain for Christopher Samba's signature, but I expect that he'll choose to stay in the Premier League rather than switch over to France.
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It seemed like this was a transfer for Spurs fans to get really excited about. Harry Redknapp, who is notorious for only truly scouting English players, took time out of his day to go watch Loic Remy play for Marseille, and confirmed his interest in the player as well.
He could not have picked a better game to watch Remy show off his ability; the Frenchman won the game for Marseille by scoring the double that gave his team a 2-0 win over French champions Lille.
However, in the end, it was not to be.
After the game, Remy distanced himself from speculation over his future by stating that it was "out of the question" to leave Marseille in January, and Didier Deschamps furthered this by stating that he did not want to lose his best players in January (understandably).
And that's that. We all know in the transfer market that things can change quickly and players can change their minds, but this doesn't look like one of those cases.
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The logic goes that since Liverpool are obsessed with British talent, and Jermain Defoe's arguably the most in-form British striker this season (excluding the duo at Manchester United), he'd be a great fit for Liverpool.
I can't blame the Reds for wanting Defoe. The guy is in his prime and is a goal machine; in the limited minutes he's had this season, he's still managed to score 11 times and record seven assists.
To emphasize just how good he's been this season, he's scored a goal every 131 minutes he's played, and assisted or scored a goal every 80 minutes.
Why he gets benched in favor of VDV so frequently will probably be an issue that frustrates me until the end of time. Personally, I think it's because Redknapp's too concerned with upsetting VDV.
Getting back to the issue at hand though, while I can't completely rule this transfer out as impossible, I do believe it won't happen.
It already appears as though Daniel Levy is playing hardball as usual and preventing Defoe from leaving, and Redknapp has backed this approach with his usual "he is under contract here and must stay" approach.
If Redknapp just does the right thing and plays Defoe more often, I can see this issue going away. If VDV continues to get starts while being off-form, as was the case against Wolves, I could see this issue boiling all the way to the transfer deadline.
Verdict: False (barely)
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Roman Pavlyuchenko's desire to leave Tottenham has been much less concealed than Defoe's has.
While Defoe has generally let his agent do the talking and has avoided discussing his situation in the media, Pavlyuchenko has commented on his lack of playing time and transfer situation multiple times in the media.
The most up-to-date news on Pavlyuchenko comes from his agent, who claims that Pav is being priced out of a move away from Spurs, and that Daniel Levy wants to make a profit on the striker.
This is typical Tottenham; under Levy, it's rare that a player is not sold for the same or more than he was bought for.
This is why negotiations for Peter Crouch and Wilson Palacios lasted so long last summer. Even though Levy was not able to sell both players for a profit, Crouch was sold for a profit (£12 million) while Palacios was still sold for a healthy amount (£6 million), despite a major drop in form from his early Tottenham days.
However, the price Levy is attempting to get Pavlyuchenko for is ridiculous; considering he was bought for £13.8 million in 2008, that would be mean that it would take an offer of £12 million to £15 million to take him away from White Hart Lane, which are amounts no one will pay for a 30-year-old striker who's gotten little regular playing time over the last three-and-a-half years.
It appears what Levy is trying to do is force Pavlyuchenko to stay on until Tottenham can recruit a replacement or, more likely, until the summer, when Redknapp will have time to adequately reinforce his squad with replacements for whoever leaves.
So far it seems to be working, as the Anzhi link seems to have gone quiet. With 15 days left to go though, we'll have to wait and see, but I expect Pavlyuchenko too will be unable to move with the price tag put on him.
Luka Modric for Fernando Torres
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If there's one good thing about Harry Redknapp, it's that he usually won't take bad risks in the transfer market.
The biggest risk he's probably taken as a Tottenham manager was Emmanuel Adebayor, and even in that scenario the potential for success far outweighed the potential for failure.
I have no idea where this Modric-for-Torres swap story originated, but considering Chelsea don't really have any other center-forward to call on in January other than Torres (Andre Villas-Boas refuses to acknowledge Romelu Lukaku's presence in his squad), this rumor doesn't make sense at all.
In any case, Redknapp shut it down pretty soon after it started getting around, so that's that. Spurs fans can rest easy knowing that the nightmare that is Fernando Torres won't be coming to Tottenham anytime soon.
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Arguably Brazil's second hottest prospect after Neymar, Ganso has been linked with a move to Spurs in the January window. Mikhail Turner of Bleacher Report brings you all the details here.
I still find it humorous how this rumor grew particularly strong only a couple of days after Harry Redknapp told the media that he had no idea who Ganso even was.
The fee that is being reported as necessary to bring Ganso to Spurs is actually only €18 million, which is a fairly reasonable amount for a young Brazilian star with the profile that Ganso currently has.
It's hard to say at present if this transfer will happen or not, especially since there haven't been any developments in the last three or four days and no one seems to know what the result of Ganso's agent's meeting with Tottenham officials was.
However, if I had to take a guess, I'd say that this transfer, somewhat unfortunately, won't happen.
Ganso won't leave Santos before the summer, and in the summer I expect Redknapp and Levy to be too busy sorting out their striker situation and dealing with all the unhappy players who will likely be looking to leave.
In that kind of climate, Ganso will be far down on the list of Tottenham's priorities.
There's still a chance of a summer deal being agreed in January, and I'm all for it, but I personally don't expect it to happen.
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The six previous rumors are the ones I'd classify as the "big ones" for this January. There are however, a number of smaller rumors and transfer scenarios which are yet to be resolved, and so I'll run through those too here to give you a quick idea of my position and why.
Steven Pienaar to QPR - False
Why: QPR's first bid for Pienaar has already been turned down, and Redknapp has made it clear that he wants to hold onto Pienaar for at least the rest of the season.
Why: QPR were interested in Bassong in the summer, and FansFC.com seems to believe that believe that every team in the EPL want Bassong, linking him with QPR, Aston Villa, West Ham, and Blackburn Rovers.
Redknapp needs Bassong as a back-up if no new center-backs join the squad this winter, but if Christopher Samba joins, Bassong will likely become surplus to requirements and allowed to leave.
Vedran Corluka to West Ham - True
Why: If there's one man who has become truly forgotten at White Hart Lane, its Corluka. Since the awful performances by Tottenham against the Manchesters, Corluka has seen exactly one minute of Premier League action, and isn't even being selected as Kyle Walker's backup any longer.
Redknapp has decided to utilize central midfielder Jake Livermore as a right back, rather than use Vedran Corluka in his natural position. It is clear that Redknapp no longer values Corluka's contributions to the squad, and will surely allow him to leave for whatever team wants him.
Heurelho Gomes to Anywhere - False
Why: Because Harry Redknapp said so.
What do you think of Spurs' big rumors (and little ones too if you want to comment on them)? Which ones will happen or won't happen? Which ones would you most like to see happen? Make your opinion known in the comments section below, and thanks for reading!