Tottenham appear to be on the verge of landing their first transfer of the season with ESPNFC and multiple other outlets reporting a £17 million move for Corinthians midfielder Paulinho is moving along quickly.
Numerous outlets, including the Mirror, have quotes attributed to the Brazilian regarding a move to White Hart Lane.
From the Telegraph:
I feel I am ready to experience football at the highest level in Europe and the opportunity to play in England is a dream.
It's a great pleasure to be linked to such a great club like Tottenham. They have a reputation as one of the great clubs in England who play exciting, attacking football which suits my style.
I couldn't turn them down if they made me an offer. It would be a fantastic opportunity to play for Tottenham.
Before that, the Mail noted that the Brazil player wanted to make a decision on his future at the end of the Confederations Cup. For Spurs, it is a positive step in the summer signing frenzy that will open on July 1.
Of course, the time between now and then might be problematic.
One only needs to look at the probable transfer of Isco to know that not being able to lock down a signature can be a painful experience.
It is a realistic question to ask whether or not Chelsea would throw more money at Corinthians simply to annoy Spurs. It also might be worthwhile to ask whether the Blues would force the North London side to spend more money and edge them closer to making a decision on Gareth Bale based on cash rather than holding the player.
Regardless, it is important the club be able to lock up a contract with the Brazilian as early as possible after next weekend to ensure they are not like City in the bridesmaid category.
A Rose in the Hand is Worth Three in the Back
Among the many positional deficiencies Tottenham battled against last term, left-back was a curiously unsettled spot in the lineup.
Seemingly a mortal lock for the spot before the season, Benoit Assou-Ekotto's 15 appearances were apparently not to Andre Villas-Boas’ liking and his spot was rarely secure for long in the season. Jan Vertonghen made 16 appearances on the flank but was a mainstay in the center by the end of the season. Kyle Naughton was also deployed on the left 15 times but the right-footed defender never looked comfortable in adding to the attack, a place where Spurs needed extra width.
With Rose returning, this would seem to be a match made for the club and nothing should come between that.
While there are a few players that might want to consider greener pastures, surely filling a hole, rather than compounding one, would be beneficial in the long run. Should the club be tempted into a move, though, it might open the door back up to BAE in defense but might force more movement than originally intended in the transfer market.
Obligatory Gareth Bale Story
If you are not sick of the Bale to Real Madrid headlines, at least two more sides to the story cropped up over the weekend.
The Daily Star (via ESPNFC) put out a rather interesting line that Daniel Levy would not agree to a sale for Gareth Bale even if £100 million was put on the table.
At the same time, the braggadocios Marca laid out that Bale is "awaiting further instructions" while Madrid begin working on the agreement to bring the Welshman to the Bernabeu.
One has to admit that the Madrid-mouthpiece newspaper cannot possibly lack in chutzpah with the way they write their stories. Whether one would adapt their style to match is a question better left unanswered.
What will be more interesting to watch is to see whether Levy has the same kind of bravado in resisting what might be a world-record bid for the winger.
Madrid president Florentino Perez will be hoping to use the "strategic partnership" established last season to his advantage in negotiations, a potentially important piece in proceedings. While not all the details of that arrangement have ever been revealed, should there have been something hidden in the shadows, it is likely to be used as a battering stick against the Tottenham chairman.
It's not often that a man is offered a chance to be a part of a historic event and a massive business deal to boot. Levy will have to be strong not to get sucked up into the moment if his convictions are as strong as they are claimed to be.