Tottenham: 5 Signings Andre Villas-Boas Could Make This Summer
Having narrowly missed out on Champions League football in the 2012-13 season, Tottenham are intent on strengthening their side to keep pace with the best in the Premier League.
"We had to be aware, independent of making it or not—and we didn't make it—that we would have to raise the bar again because our competitors will do the same," Villas-Boas is quoted by the Guardian
"They will do their job in the window and we must do ours, in the Tottenham way, scouting properly and looking for good grabs in summer window to make it a stronger squad."
Here are five players who appear to be on AVB's radar this summer...
After making just 16 starts in La Liga for Barcelona this season, it seems David Villa's career with the Catalan giants has failed to get back into top gear since breaking his tibia in the 2011 Club World Cup.
Yet there are plenty of clubs willing to give the soul patch-wearing Spaniard a new start, including Tottenham, who are lining up a £10 million bid for the World Cup winner, according to the Daily Mail.
Villa would appear to be a great fit for Spurs, where he could be utilized as an alternate option to Emmanuel Adebayor at the top of AVB's 4-2-3-1 formation, or deployed on either wing.
However, Spurs may have a fight on their hands to bring in the former Valencia hitman. According to various sources, including The Guardian, they will be joined by longtime admirers Arsenal and Liverpool in the race for his signature.
Tottenham's interest in Internacional striker Leandro Damiao dates back more than two years, per this report from the Daily Mail, and thus could be considered one of the longest-running transfer sagas in the game.
According to The Sun, Spurs wish to complement their purchase of David Villa with a £20 million bid for the 23-year-old Brazilian, as a means of signalling their intentions to break into the top four once again.
Internacional's president has denied that talks are taking place (via The Express), but if any European club is going to get Damiao, it should be Spurs—they already brought Sandro over from the Brazilian club and in 2009 they set up a "strategic partnership" with Inter.
Traditionally, young French speakers are meant to end up in the red part of North London, but Montpellier's Younes Belhanda could buck the trend by signing for Spurs.
The Moroccan international playmaker told french paper L'Equipe that he wants to go to England or Germany this summer (source translated via Sky Sports) and The Metro report that Montpellier president Louis Nicollin is willing to let the 23-year-old go for a bargain £8 million.
Villas-Boas is thought to remain interested, having had a bid for the Ligue 1 winner turned down in the January window.
The versatile Belhanda primarily plays in the Gareth Bale attacking midfield role, but could also fit in central midfield or out on the wing.
Unless you have been living under a rock that is impervious to the non-stop flow of postseason transfer rumors, you will know that Real Madrid are interested in signing Gareth Bale.
According to The Express, the Spanish giants wish to help fund the purchase of the Spurs sensation by selling off Gonzalo Higuain for around £20 million. If Bale is prised away to Madrid, perhaps a cash-plus-player deal would make sense?
Arsenal and Manchester City are also said to be interested in the Argentine international, but Tottenham may hold the upper hand over their Premier League rivals in light of their potential Bale negotiations.
Spurs have been linked to countless world-class strikers and midfielders, but there are also a number of defenders on their radar.
Belgian centre-back Nicolas Lombaerts has been turning heads at Zenit Saint Petersburg in the past few seasons, and was voted the best foreign player in Russia last campaign.
Russian newspaper Izvestia (translated via SoccerNews.com) believe Spurs are set to make a swoop for the 28-year-old, who is out of contract next summer.
Lombaerts would surely be comfortable playing along side fellow Belgian Jan Vertonghen at the back, and the left footer could also be deployed as a left-back.