Guillem Balague tweeted that Villa is moving along to Atletico Madrid in a rather meager €5.1 million move that seemingly stupefies most of the reports so far this summer that the Spaniard had agreed personal terms with Spurs.
This in and of itself is something that happens during a transfer window. Rumors start, agreements get made but someone brings the proverbial last-minute bid and steals the deal.
What might be a little concerning this transfer window is that Tottenham, a club good at finding last minute deals, is running into a slightly different type of problem. The players that Daniel Levy and Andre Villas-Boas are interested in bringing into White Hart Lane are wanted just as much elsewhere.
Before, there were times when Spurs were able to procure deals at the last minute with players just below the standard Tottenham are trying to procure right now. Nabbing Rafael van der Vaart was a stroke of genius but it was also a situation where the then-Real Madrid man’s value suddenly plummeted late in the window.
Right now, however, there is a need for a quality player than can get the white half of North London into the Champions League, and that requires action earlier rather than later. Watching Manchester City lock down Fernandinho and Jesus Navas or Chelsea signing Andre Schurrle gives one the idea of how to land the big names.
As the window slogs on, there will be some groans as other targets disappear off the market. Leandro Damiao, seemingly aimed for in every transfer window since 1674, looks to be off to Napoli by Talk Sport's reckoning. Villa is likewise now persona non grata at Tottenham.
Levy has gotten a little better in timing the buys, though the bargain hunter in him has made moves like the one for Jan Vertonghen last summer a little more stressful than they should be. There’s only so much you can change in a tiger like Levy, which brings us to another point...
Villa Get Bent-en Around By Christian
The stripes of the aforementioned animal are going to need to be briefly shuttled if the club has any shot at getting a hold of probably the best forward on the market that would see Tottenham as a step up.
As Sky Sports reported, Christian Benteke put in a transfer request at Aston Villa Monday. Cue the long queue of clubs looking to land the Belgian.
It was the Sun who said that Levy would likely look to wait towards the end of the transfer window to try and whack the price down. This development has thrown any sort of plan like that into flux as Spurs are not the only club looking to pick up the forward.
The decisions made in the next few days regarding the forward position may be more telling than the initial outlay for Paulinho.
Levy, as a businessman, would not want to pay the full £25 million being quoted by the Mail. At the same time, someone will put that money in front of Villa. Considering the other option that has been kicked around, Roberto Soldado, is also quoted at £25 million, there is a quick decision that needs to be made.
Tottenham have made a forward one of their primary targets and if they are planning on getting one to make a difference, the time has been more or less thrown in front of them.
The Mind of the Businessman
Villa is off to Atletico. Something tells me Levy is not necessarily disappointed to see that happen.
As much flexibility as Villa might have offered Spurs within the lineup and formations, there was a lot of risk in taking on a 31-year-old going on 32 this December. Villa would likely have had no resale value after a move to Tottenham in two years’ time.
That very much goes against the business model that Levy has employed with the club. Having Harry Redknapp sign players like Scott Parker probably made Levy the businessman cringe a little bit inside.
Was Parker a bad signing? Absolutely not. Considering, however, he is being shopped around for somewhere near £2 million by the Mail's figures when he was bought for £5-6 million, the business half of Levy’s brain is still kicking him around for that.
Of course, we all know that football and business are two things that tend to be diametrically opposite of one another. Huge transfer fees at one stage tend to be dwindled down to half—or worse—in just a couple of seasons’ time.
Running the club is probably a job with its share of ups and downs, but Spurs could do a lot worse than have a keen mind like Levy running the levers. Now if he’d just speed things up a little…