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Tottenham Hotspur Summer Transfer News: Tracking Latest Rumors, Updates

Thomas CooperFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2013

Tottenham Hotspur Summer Transfer News: Tracking Latest Rumors, Updates

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    After finishing fifth in 2012-13, Tottenham Hotspur head into the summer transfer window looking to find the players who might help them push on next season.

    Wholesale changes are not a must for a club who just recorded their highest ever Premier League points total.

    Still, manager Andre Villas-Boas will be seeking additions that might help his team avoid last-day disappointment (or worse) again. Part of that process will also include deciding which players will be exiting White Hart Lane this summer.

    All at Tottenham will be hoping Gareth Bale is not one of them. After a season glittering with individual accolades, the Welshman's future is set to be one of the biggest storylines relating to Tottenham's transfer activity.

    Villas-Boas and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will be working hard to ensure they keep and sign the players they want for the 2013-14 campaign. Whether another year without Champions League football hurts these plans remains to be seen.

    For all the latest news items and rumors you need to know relating to Bale, and all aspects of the North London club's dealings, check back here throughout the summer.

    LATEST UPDATE: SUNDAY 16 JUNE

    From Monday 17 June, look out for the new weekly Tottenham Hotspur Summer Transfer News Trackers.

Tottenham Interested in Lamela and Aubameyang?

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    Sunday 16 June

    The Daily Telegraph's Jason Burt has suggested the seemingly likely appointment of Franco Baldini as Tottenham's new sporting director, may lead to them signing one of his former club's best young talents.

    Roma's Erik Lamela had an impressive 2012-13 in Serie A, as Bleacher Report's Colin O'Brien examined last month.

    Burt believes Spurs have been interested in Lamela for some time already.

    The Sunday Mirror's Matt Law has the Premier League side interested in Saint-Etienne's Pierre-­Emerick Aubameyang.

    Law writes that it will cost Spurs in the region of £10 million to buy the Gabon striker.

Zidane Encourages Bale to Request Move

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    Sunday 16 June

    Real Madrid's attempts to unsettle Gareth Bale have continued apace, with the club's sporting director Zinedine Zidane urging the player to request a move if he wants to leave.

    The Sunday People's Steve Bates quotes the French icon as saying "we have made clear that we would not be put off by the cost of the player.

    "But if Gareth feels that now is the time to move then he has to have a private discussion with his club and express that he wants to leave."

    Another Spurs player with an uncertain future is Scott Parker.

    The Sunday Mirror's Steve Stammers reports that Sunderland are interested in the midfielder.

Spurs Begin Negotiations for Villa?

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    Saturday 15 June

    Tottenham fans hoping to see David Villa in their club's colors next seasons, may be about to have their hopes dashed.

    Dion Dassanayake of the Daily Express reports that Barcelona may not want to let the Spain striker go.

    Club president Sandro Rosell is quoted as saying: "Until somebody says the opposite, David Villa will remain a Barcelona player."

    This does not entirely rule out Villa leaving, but given what the player said earlier this month (see below), the indications are he could be staying put.

    Monday 3 June

    Could a move for David Villa not be a goer after all?

    British radio station talkSPORT and the Daily Star's Jack Wilson are both carrying quotes from Villa, via the Spanish press, that suggest the Barcelona star may be keen to stay at the Nou Camp.

    "I have a contract with Barca and I've always said that I'm very happy here," the 31-year-old reportedly said.


    Tuesday 28 May

    Given their need for at least one top-class addition in the position, striker-related speculation is unsurprisingly featuring heavily in Tottenham transfer rumors right now.

    Along with yet more talk of Leandro Damiao (see further along this slideshow), the Daily Mail's Sami Mokbel is also reporting Spurs are ready to open negotiations with Barcelona over David Villa.

    Rated at around £12 million by the Catalan club, according to the article Spurs chairman Daniel Levy would prefer to negotiate any prospective deal lower by a couple of million.

    Villa at his best, even for a season or two, would be quite a coup for Tottenham. Despite not being a regular starter for Barca this season, he still netted 15 times in all competitions.

    The suggested fee is not cheap for a 31-year-old, but in the supremely talented Villa, it could prove a risk worth taking.

Brazilian Trio on Their Way to White Hart Lane?

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    Saturday 15 June

    Following on from yesterday's rumor in Metro (see below) linking Tottenham with Paulinho, the Saturday newspapers are again citing the Corinthians midfielder as a transfer target.

    Among them is The Mirror's Darren Lewis, who writes that Spurs "believe they can get Paulinho for less than his £17m buyout clause."

    The 24-year-old is currently on international duty with Brazil, as part of their Confederations Cup squad.

    Friday 14 June

    The Daily Express' James Dickenson reports Tottenham are "close to finalizing a deal" with Internacional for their striker Leandro Damiao.

    A couple of Damiao's compatriots could be joining him in moving to North London, according to the latest transfer gossip.

    Atletico Mineiro attacking midfielder Bernard's name has popped up already in relation to a move to Spurs, in last Saturday's Daily Mail. The Mirror's Darren Lewis is the latest to tout the move.

    Meanwhile, Metro's Hannah Duncan suggests Spurs are preparing a £14.5 million bid for Corinthians midfielder Paulinho.

Defoe and Parker Among Players Up for Sale?

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    Friday 14 June

    Metro's Jamie Sanderson has Andre Villas-Boas preparing to cut several first-team players ahead of the season.

    The players listed are Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone, Iago Falque, Andros Townsend, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Bongani Khumalo, forward pair Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe, as well as goalkeepers Brad Friedel and Heurelho Gomes.

    Sanderson writes that the above players will be "available for transfer if the price is right, while it’s also thought that Villas-Boas will use them as negotiating chips if needed."

    Friedel leaving seems unlikely given the American signed a contract extension to 2014 in December. He will be wanted as back-up for Hugo Lloris while Spurs find a suitable young pretender to keep the Frenchman on his toes.

    Townsend would be a surprising departure seeing how he impressed on loan at Queens Park Rangers. Despite his much publicized gambling problems, he is a player who is seemingly ready to challenge for a place in the Spurs side.

    Khumalo and Gomes' departures are all but inevitable. Selling the others will probably, as Sanderson suggests, only be sold if a good offer is made and Villas-Boas is able to bring suitable replacements in.

    Elsewhere, The Sun's Neil Custis has Manchester United preparing an £85 million bid for Gareth Bale, should they be unable to complete a transfer for former player Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Custis notes "a world record fee would be impossible to reject" for Spurs.

    That might possibly be the case. But their distaste at selling their star player to a Premier League rival might outweigh any need for that money.

Barry to Replace Parker?

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    Thursday 13 June

    The Daily Express has Tottenham preparing a £4 million bid for Manchester City's Gareth Barry.

    Tony Banks reports that Andre Villas-Boas is looking to take advantage of the midfielder's uncertain future in the North West. Barry has one year left on his contract and it is not clear if he is part of incoming boss, Manuel Pellegrini's plans.

    The notion that the 32-year-old is a replacement for 33-year-old Scott Parker is a slightly strange one.

    While Banks' article describes Parker as having "had an injury-hit season", he only missed the first four months of the season. Thereafter, he largely stayed injury-free while deputizing for the injured Sandro.

    Slightly more low-key to the all-action Parker, Barry remains a good player. Whether he is an upgrade on the current Spurs man is debatable, though.

    It is unlikely too, that Barry will want to sit behind Spurs' likely first-choice midfield of Mousa Dembele and Sandro (once the latter is fit, at least).

PSG Want Villas-Boas....and Bale?

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    Thursday 13 June

    Following on from yesterday's report about Paris Saint-Germain's interest in Andre Villas-Boas (see below), today the Daily Mail are reporting that they have also set their sights on Gareth Bale.

    Simon Jones and Sami Mokbel's story has PSG prepared to outbid Real Madrid for the in-demand Welshman.

    The article also notes that the French champions are not solely interested in a package deal for Villas-Boas and Bale. Should the Portuguese opt to stay at Spurs, PSG will still be pursuing Bale.

    Wednesday 12 June

    The Guardian's Dominic Fifield has suggested Paris Saint-Germain may be looking to Andre Villas-Boas to replace Carlo Ancelotti.

    As Fifield's story acknowledges, Ancelotti is keen on taking the vacant Real Madrid job.

    Last season's Ligue 1 winners are said to "have contacted the Portuguese's representatives to sound him out over his availability," should their current manager leave.

    There might be little to this story. Nonetheless, Spurs fans will be keen that Villas-Boas does not leave for the riches of PSG, after just one year in North London.

Spurs After Guarin And/or Chadli?

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    Wednesday 12 June

    Sky Sports Italia (via Football-Italia.net) reported late on Tuesday that Internazionale had turned down a £17 million bid from Tottenham for Fredy Guarin.

    Gianluca Di Marzio—Sky's transfer expert—speculates Inter are keen to start a bidding war for Guarin. Could Spurs be at the front of the queue?

    Friday 7 June

    The Daily Express' Charles Perrin has Tottenham contemplating a £17 million bid for Internazionale's Fredy Guarin.

    Guarin's representative Marcelo Ferreyra told calciomercato in April (via SkySports.com) that neither he, nor his client, knew of any interest from Spurs.

    Ferreyra did describe his player as having a "bond" with his former Porto manager, and current Spurs boss, Andre Villas-Boas.

    Regular readers of this Transfer Tracker will know these old relationships do not always count for much. Joao Moutinho, long a rumored target of Spurs' (as can be seen later in the article), ended up joining Monaco, instead of linking up with Villas-Boas again.

    Elsewhere, talkSPORT's Zarif Rasul has linked Spurs and Liverpool with a move with FC Twente winger Nacer Chadli.

    The story carries quotes from the Belgian's agent, Daniel Evrard, stating: "Nacer wants to play in the Champions League, but he is also attracted by English football."

    Spurs can not offer football in Europe's top competition. If, however, there is anything to this rumor, the chance to team up with fellow Belgium internationals Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele, might tempt Chadli.

Spurs Release Gallas and Bentley

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    Tuesday 11 June

    Tottenham officially confirmed the releases initially stated in this article last weekend, on their website on Monday.

    Also announced was the release of Dean Parrett, a once highly-rated midfielder signed from Queens Park Rangers in 2007 for £2 million (source: BBC Sport).

    Parrett featured four times for Spurs in the UEFA Cup/Europa League, starting once, away against Shakhtar Donetsk in the second round in 2009.

    From the academy, Spurs let go Tom Gardiner, Mason Bush, William Ekong, Billy Grainger, Sam Smith and Victor Zapata-Caicedo.

    Shaq Coulthirst and Lawrence Vigouroux, two youth team standouts during the past season, were both awarded their first professional contracts.

    The following players joined the academy as First Year Scholars: Luke Amos, Channing Campbell-Young, Anthony Georgou, Cy Goddard, Shayon Harrison, Joshua Onomah, Joe Pritchard, Lloyd Ross, Harry Voss, Kyle Walker-Peters and Anton Walkes.

    Saturday 8 June

    As announced on the Premier League's official website, the division's clubs have announced those players they will be retaining, and those they will be releasing, ahead of the upcoming season.

    The big name departures for Tottenham Hotspur are William Gallas and David Bentley.

    Thirty-five-year-old Gallas joined Tottenham in 2010 after leaving North London rivals Arsenal. Over the following three season, he made 79 appearances.

    The centre-back's most impressive contributions came during his first season, in Spurs' Champions League campaign. Gallas played his part in the heroic rearguard action against AC Milan in the Round of 16.

    Another former Gunner, Bentley joined Tottenham in 2008 from Blackburn Rovers, in a £15 million deal.

    Bentley enjoyed a decent first season, appearing 38 times, and scoring a memorable goal in a 4-4 draw with Arsenal.

    He struggled to displace Aaron Lennon in right midfield though, featuring just 27 times over the next two seasons. His remaining two years contracted to Spurs were spent out on loan, or on the injury table.

    Also released by Spurs were Jack Barthram, John Bostock, Jack Munns and Jake Nicholson.

    Bostock's release is of particular significance. Still only 21, he was one of English football's most highly rated youngsters when he joined Spurs from Crystal Palace in 2008.

    Sadly, it has not worked out, as thoroughly described in this comprehensive retrospective by the Daily Mail's Dan Ripley.

Alderweireld Keen on Premier League Move

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    Monday 10 June

    The Daily Mail's Paul Collins has reported Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld has indicated he would be interested in a move to the Premier League.

    Collins' article carries quotes from an interview the the Belgium international had with Holland newspaper De Telegraaf, with the player saying "England and Germany are the best leagues where I think I can take the next step."

    Alderweireld has been a reported target of Spurs' for some time. The same newspaper's Joe Ridge linked the two as far back as last November.

    The twenty-four-year-old has been with Ajax since 2004, making his debut during the 2008-09 campaign.

    Should he move to Spurs, Alderweireld will join fellow Belgians Jan Vertonghen (also a former Ajax teammate) and Mousa Dembele. Could these familiar faces help sway a move?

    Elsewhere, Hugo Lloris has denied any interest on his part, in a move back to Ligue 1 with Monaco.

    "I left to go abroad, to try and build something on a personal and sporting level and I don't intend to come back soon," the Spurs goalkeeper told le10sport (via the London Evening Standard).

    Meanwhile, The Independent are among several media outlets carrying quotes from Real Madrid sporting director Zinedine Zidane, once more talking about Gareth Bale.

    "It is impossible to have the season he just had and not be linked with the biggest clubs in Europe," the 40-year-old said this past weekend.

    "If any club is going to tempt Spurs, then it will take big money—maybe even record-breaking money."

    De Telegraaf: ‘That is not my preference. England and Germany are the best leagues where I think I can take the next step.

Fenerbache Want Assou-Ekotto?

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    Saturday 8 June

    The Daily Mail's Simon Jones reports that Fenerbache are interested in Tottenham left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

    Jones' article suggests the Turkish club are hoping to push through a £6 million deal for the Cameroon international, as soon as this weekend.

    The same story also links Spurs with a move for Atletico Miniero attacking midfielder, Bernard.

Baldini to Become Spurs Technical Director?

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    Thursday 6 June

    Franco Baldini has resigned from his role as general manager at Roma, a decision which may pave the way for him becoming Tottenham's new technical director.

    Ed Aarons' story in The Independent, follows suit with Andre Villas-Boas' indication at the end of the season that he encouraged the appointment of someone in the role at Spurs.

    He was quoted in The Guardian as saying that he would like to work with a "person that bridges the gap between manager and board, and that he is able to be focused on the technical side of things".

    Baldini has prior experience of the English game, having worked as Fabio Capello's assistant manager for the England national team between 2007 and 2011.

    Spurs have experimented with the "technical director" role with varying success.

    David Pleat operated as Director of Football between 1998 and 2003 (when he became caretaker manager following Glenn Hoddle's sacking).

    The role took on a decidedly more continental tinge in 2004, when Frank Arnesen was appointed as Sporting Director. Granted more influence in player recruitment, the Dane oversaw a radical overhaul of the playing staff during his one season in North London.

    Controversially, Arnesen jumped ship to Chelsea in 2005, and was replaced by Damien Comolli.

    While several of the players the latter helped recruit have gone on to do well for Spurs (Gareth Bale and Luka Modric among them), the Frenchman never established a good working relationship with managers Martin Jol or Juande Ramos.

    Comolli was dismissed in 2008, along with Ramos, as Spurs returned to a more traditional English management set-up under Harry Redknapp.

Damiao Deal Latest

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    Thursday 6 June

    Quotes from Leandro Damiao's agent, Vinicius Prates, have been doing the rounds the last couple of days, with SkySports.com and the Daily Express among those media outlets carrying them.

    Prates reportedly told Brazilian newspaper Zero Hora that "Tottenham are an important club in London, we can't rule them out."

    It should also be noted that Prates said "our idea is to always work with big clubs, all players dream of playing in the Champions League."

    Something which, as the Sky Sports article points out, might swing things in the favor of other reported interested parties, Napoli and Marseille.

    Saturday 25 May

    The scene of Leandro Damiao's Olympic gold medal final heartbreak may be where his future is decided.

    The Daily Mail's Simon Jones claims Damiao's Internacional club president Giovanni Luigi will "is looking to open talks with Tottenham over Brazil striker Leandro Damiao while he attends Saturday's Champions League final..at Wembley."

    Brazil international Damiao has been a target of Tottenham's for the last two years, as this writer detailed in a look at the evolution of this transfer saga earlier this month.

    Could a deal finally about to be made amid the drama and excitement of tonight's Champions League climax?

Defoe Plus Cash for Villa's Benteke?

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    Thursday 6 June

    Following on from yesterday's story, today's edition of The Mirror suggests Aston Villa have put a hefty price tag on Christian Benteke.

    John Cross writes that any interested parties will have to spend £40 million to sign the Belgium international.

    Wednesday 5 June

    Tottenham's desire to improve in attack could see them forsake one of their current strikers for a new one. At least according to The Mirror's Darren Lewis.

    Spurs are reportedly willing to offer Jermain Defoe plus cash to Aston Villa, for their 2012-13 standout, Christian Benteke.

    Lewis' story also states that Atletico Madrid are in the hunt for the Belgium international striker, as they seek to replace the departed Radamel Falcao.

    Tempting though Spurs' reported offer may be, it seems unlikely Villa would contemplate selling Benteke unless the player made it clear he was desperate to leave.

    Elsewhere, The Sun indicates Spurs may be turning their attentions to former Birmingham City man, Christian Benitez.

    Tony Little's article quotes Club America president Ricardo Pelaez as saying the Mexican outfit's star striker "wants to return to Europe", and they "won’t clip his wings if we get an offer that suits us."

    Benitez scored four times, creating a further seven, in 36 appearances on loan at Birmingham in 2009-10.

Double-Swoop for Soldado and Damiao?

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    Wednesday 5 June

    The Daily Mail's Simon Jones has Tottenham prepared to make Roberto Soldado their most expensive ever signing.

    Spurs' previous biggest fee was around the £16 million they paid Dinamo Zagreb for Luka Modric in 2008. Jones reports that the Premier League club are willing to spend £20 million on Soldado.

    His club Valencia will almost certainly be forced to sell their star striker. The Spanish club have been in the financial mire for some time, as this Guardian story from January details.

    Thursday 23 May

    Tottenham could be about to alleviate their goalscoring problems by bringing in Valencia's Roberto Soldado and Internacional's Leandro Damiao.

    The Daily Express' Tony Banks reports that the North London club are keen to get Damiao signed within the next couple of weeks.

    Soldado would reportedly set Spurs back at least £20 million. Though as the story notes, with 27 goals (in all competitions) to his name, the Spanish international could be exactly what Villas-Boas' goal-shy attack needs.

    The Express story, as well Dominic Fifield's similar report in The Guardian, both write about the prospective moves as Tottenham signalling their intention to move on from their end-of-season disappointment.

    Should they secure both strikers' signatures, it would be a heck of a statement of intent.

Villas-Boas After Benfica's Rodrigo?

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    Monday 3 June

    Benfica's Rodrigo is the latest attacker to be linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur.

    The Mirror's John Cross writes that Villas-Boas sees the 22-year-old Spaniard as filling the "rising star" slot in the Spurs attack. Supposedly, this will be in addition to a more experienced striker—with reported targets David Villa and Leandro Damiao the two mentioned in the article.

    Rodrigo has played for Spain at various youth levels, and featured at the Olympic Games last summer.

    At Benfica, the 22-year-old has scored 18 goals in two seasons. He will be somewhat familiar to English audiences, having spent 2010-11 on loan at Bolton Wanderers.

    The striker also featured in Europa League fixtures against Newcastle United and Chelsea this past season—scoring in a 3-1 win over the Magpies.

    Meanwhile, according to Metro's Daniel Jones, Spurs are also after another Portuguese Liga star.

    Jones  writes that "Villas-Boas is stepping up his pursuit of Porto’s highly-rated Colombian forward Jackson Martinez."

Bale Not for Sale

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    Sunday 2 June

    Tottenham are set to tell Gareth Bale he is not for sale at any price, according to the Daily Telegraph. 

    Jason Burt's story believes this will still be the case, even if the Welshman does not sign a new contract.

    Despite Real Madrid's public interest (see the next couple of pages) in Bale, they seemingly have made little progress towards securing a deal.

    With Spurs chairman Daniel Levy planning to renew their own discussions with Bale upon his return from holiday, Real too might be waiting until then to step up their negotiations.

Mass Clear-out to Make Room for Bigger Bale Wages?

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    Friday 31 May

    Thursday's report in The Mirror that Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea were prepared to pay £80 million for Gareth Bale was not surprising given his talent.

    Inevitable though the English clubs' interest may be, as the writer John Cross noted, "Spurs would be reluctant to sell to a Premier League rival."

    In that respect, the story felt like a non-starter. Tony Banks is of similar mind in an article in today's Daily Express, writing that chairman Daniel Levy will not contemplate selling to another English club.

    Today's purported development has the Daily Mail's Sami Mokbel outlining Spurs' plans to clear room on their wage bill to aid them offering Bale an improved contract.

    None of the names mentioned as being on the out are especially surprising.

    The aging William Gallas' contract is expiring, while David Bentley and Heurelho Gomes have not been part of Tottenham's first-team plans for some time now.

    It is less definite that any one of the quartet of Emmanuel Adebayor, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone will be leaving North London. However the latter pair in particular are two Spurs might hope to secure decent transfer fees for, without there being a major loss to the team's on-pitch quality.

Real Madrid Set Deadline for Bale

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    Wednesday 29 May

    The latest installment in the Gareth Bale transfer saga has the Daily Star's Paul Brown suggesting Real Madrid have set a 15 June deadline to sign the Tottenham star.

    It is a newly speculated detail that at least has a potential end to rumors surrounding the Welshman's future.

    The articles states that Real have been encouraged by Bale not yet publicly stating a desire to stay in North London.

    Bale might not be in a big rush, however. Last year he did not sign the contract that confirmed his Spurs future until 27 June.

    Elsewhere, following on yesterday's reports of Tottenham's interest in David Villa and Leandro Damiao (see next page), The Sun's Paul Jiggins has gotten in on the act today.

    According to the story, "Spurs were last night closing in on a £10m swoop for Barcelona’s Spanish striker Villa."

    In regards to the ongoing Damiao speculation, Jiggins also notes that Atletico Madrid are now in the hunt for the Brazilian.

    Their star striker Radamel Falcao is being heavily linked with Monaco in various media outlets, including BBC Sport. Should he leave they will be desperate to secure a quality replacement, and have possibly identified Damiao as that man.

Real Prepare £65 Million Bid for Bale, Spurs in for Isco?

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    Monday 27 May

    Speculation linking Gareth Bale with Real Madrid continues to dominate Tottenham related transfer rumors.

    The Daily Mail's Neil Ashton writes that the Spanish club are preparing a £65 million bid. Bale has become their main target after Neymar's move to Barcelona was confirmed on the Catalan club's official website.

    If they have not already, Real will soon realize Bale will not come cheap. Still, Spurs will only consider selling if the player signals his desire to leave.

    Meanwhile, Malaga attacking midfielder Isco may be a player still on Tottenham's horizon.

    Metro's Hannah Duncan mentions the link, though the story is primarily in relation to possible interest from Manchester City in the player.

    Still, Metro was among those linking Spurs with Isco last October, suggesting their technical director Tim Sherwood had been watching the player in a Champions League match with Anderlecht.

    The latest link seems like a nod back to the previous speculation, so it is difficult to gauge if there is genuine interest on Spurs' part now. Watch this space...

UPDATE: Moutinho Joins Monaco

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    Friday 24 May

    As announced on Monaco's official website, reported long-term Tottenham target (see below) Joao Moutinho has joined the Principality club.

    Joining Moutinho in signing a five-year contract at Monaco is his former Porto teammate James Rodriguez.

    Just how interested Spurs have been in signing in the Portugal international is unclear. If there has been interest, this news will come as a blow.

    Wednesday 22 May

    The latest from Metro is that Monaco may have stolen a march on Tottenham for Joao Moutinho's signature. A combined £59 million joint deal for him and Porto teammate James Rodriguez is said to be in the offing.

    The same story carries quotes from Moutinho stating that, while "nothing will make me change clubs", his "future is up to FC Porto."

    Leaving the recently crowned Portuguese champions will not be an easy decision. If Monaco and Tottenham's interest is genuine, there are two intriguing, and rather different projects for him to contemplate joining.

    Monday 20 May

    So it begins again!

    The Sun's Mike McGrath reports that Tottenham are back in for Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho. As the story itself notes, the 26-year-old "almost joined Tottenham at the start of the season before his move collapsed."

    As this Guardian article by David Hytner from September last year describes, a £20 million deal between Spurs and Porto was close to being agreed before the player's "third party ownership" scuppered the move.

    According to Matt Barlow's Daily Mail article from January, though, that element has been removed from Moutinho's contract—making any forthcoming bid comparatively simpler.

    It should be noted that same story stated Andre Villas-Boas would not get the chance to sign his former player. However, considering The Sun and the Metro newspaper is also linking Moutinho to Spurs, we could be in store for some back and forth until the Portugal international's future is resolved.

    Despite Spurs' abundance of midfield options, Moutinho will probably be regarded as giving Villas-Boas' side greater creativity (and more class) than current players like Tom Huddlestone and Scott Parker.

    Even then, it is intriguing to contemplate how Moutinho would fit in alongside others like Mousa Dembele and Sandro.

Real Madrid Keen on Bale?

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    Wednesday 22 May

    There has not yet been confirmation of Tuesday's reports (a couple of pages along from this) that Gareth Bale was about to sign a new contract with Tottenham Hotspur. Today, however, the Daily Star is reporting Real Madrid are about to launch a bid for the North London club's prize asset.

    Daily Star reporter Paul Brown has Real president Florentino Perez prepared to offer Bale a five-year deal which will match Spurs' offer and "includes a lucrative image rights deal which would earn him even more millions."

    Brown does however suggest that the Spanish giants will not offer more than £43 million for Bale, preferring to offer money plus players in exchange. As the writer notes, such a deal would be problematic.

    Spurs' main interest in a Real Madrid player would be the striker Gonzalo Higuain. The Argentinian is unlikely to consider a move to a club without Champions League football—especially if their star player is heading the other way!

    Mostly though, it is going to take a heck of a lot of cash for Spurs to even consider selling Bale (and then, only if he wants to go). With three years left on his contract, they know they can charge well over £50 million for him.

    Whether Bale is actually worth that much is up for debate, but Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has proven himself to be a tough negotiator (just look at how he held on for over £30 million for Dimitar Berbatov in 2008).

Bale Set to Sign New Contract

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    Tuesday 21 May

    Good news for Tottenham fans, according to reports in several newspapers (including The Guardian and London Evening Standard), Gareth Bale is set to sign a new contract.

    Some details differ between publications, with the Evening Standard pair of Simon Johnson and Tom Collomosse claiming his weekly wage will be £130,000 per week. The Guardian's Dominic Fifield disagrees, suggesting it will be closer to a £150,000.

    What both agree on, is that the revised contract terms include a newly installed £50 million release clause which can be triggered at the end of the 2013-14 campaign.

    While the Evening Standard writes it as if Bale will inevitably "be allowed to leave in 12 months’ time should an enormous bid...come in for him", The Guardian's tone is more indicative of what Spurs' mindset is likely to be. Fifield writes:

    "Tottenham are confident they can price many of the forward's admirers out of the market but the release clause would allow Bale and his club to review the situation at the end of next season. The hope is that the club will qualify for the Champions League next time."

    Either way, for now it is looking like the White Hart Lane faithful can look forward to at least one more year of Bale in a Spurs shirt.

Tottenham Prepare for Summer Squad Clear-Out, Star Strikers Set to Arrive?

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    Tuesday 21 May

    The Mirror reports Tottenham are preparing to sell some notable players as they attempt to sign "bigger names to surround Gareth Bale as they bid to break back into the top four" (writes Darren Lewis).

    Emmanuel Adebayor is said to be surplus to requirements after an overall poor campaign, while Lewis believes the club will also listen to offers for Clint Dempsey.

    Tom Huddlestone and Scott Parker are also regarded as being available. The story also suggets that aging defender William Gallas is to be allowed to leave with his contract expiring (not unexpected by Spurs fans).

    Tottenham's need for reinforcements upfront has been apparent for some time now. The Mirror lists Christian Benteke, David Villa, Lisandro Lopez and Hulk as being on Villas-Boas' wish-list.

    The likelihood of any of those names arriving at White Hart Lane remains to be seen.

    Aston Villa will be loathe to sell their star man Benteke after his season-saving 23-goal haul. Lisandro Lopez has been a steady scorer for Olympique Lyonnais in the French league. Whether he could be prolific enough to fulfill Spurs' strike needs is not so apparent.

    Spain star Villa would certainly appeal if available from Barcelona, though at 31 there will be concerns about how long he will continue to perform at a top level.

    Hulk is known to Andre VIllas-Boas from their time together at Porto, but would not come cheap from Zenit St Petersburg.

Spurs Want McCarthy to Replace Parker?

26 of 28

    Tuesday 21 May

    Following Wigan Athletic's relegation, The Mirror's Alan Nixon reports that Tottenham Hotspur are set to pounce for young central midfielder James McCarthy.

    Nixon believes that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has identified McCarthy "as a long-term successor" to Scott Parker. Whether this corresponds with Andre Villas-Boas' thinking is not made known.

    Also carried in The Mirror is a reported confirmation from Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino that Luke Shaw will be staying with them next season.

    As Neil McLeman writes, the highly-rated Saints left-back is said to have been a target of "Europa League winners Chelsea, fellow Champions League qualifiers Arsenal and the Gunners' arch-rivals Tottenham." 

Villas-Boas Believes Bale Will Stay

27 of 28

    Monday 20 May

    Following Tottenham's final game of the season—a win over Sunderland—Andre Villas-Boas responded to inevitable questions about Gareth Bale's future (via ITV.com).

    Interestingly, when asked if the 23-year-old was staying, Villas-Boas answered: "Yes, that's the information we have."

    The manager also commented that "it is very, very difficult to lure a player of this dimension away." Considering Bale still has three years left on his Tottenham contract, that will likely prove to be the case.

    Spurs will not be keen to sell to any Premier League rivals. Any interested foreign parties would still have to come up with an exorbitant fee to even tempt the North Londoners into selling. Regardless, if Bale is happy to stay, no interest will be considered whatsoever.

    Last summer, Bale's contract extension was signed in June, allowing all parties to get in front of any potential rumors. Spurs will likely act quickly to decipher their star player's intentions again.

Liverpool in for Danny Rose?

28 of 28

    Monday 20 May

    Quotes carried in a couple of local North East newspapers (including the Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail) as well as on SkySports.com have Andre Villas-Boas describing Danny Rose as a "player we have to consider" for the Tottenham squad next season.

    The left-back's future is of interest to those initial two publications because of the year he has just spent on loan at nearby Sunderland. If the Black Cats intend to inquire about a permanent deal, it would seem they will have to wait until the 22-year-old's Under-21 European Championship campaign concludes this summer.

    If Tottenham decide to sell the England youth international, Sunderland may face competition from Liverpool, at least according to the Daily Mail.

    The paper suggests that Reds boss Brendan Rodgers "failed to sign Rose in the last two transfer windows" and will revive his interest in the player.

    Villas-Boas will want a closer look at the player after his year away, having not properly worked with him since becoming manager.

    With preseason not starting until July, Rose is likely to be a player featured numerous times in rumors over the next couple of months while his future remains uncertain.

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