Redknapp draws up his transfer list as Spurs prepare to go shopping
WHEN Tottenham trooped off the Eastlands turf back in May, having secured a top-four finish and a shot at the Champions League, it was heralded as a new dawn – and rightly so. After years of missing their goal by varying distances...
By Ben Pearce
WHEN Tottenham trooped off the Eastlands turf back in May, having secured a top-four finish and a shot at the Champions League, it was heralded as a new dawn - and rightly so.
After years of missing their goal by varying distances, ambitious Spurs had finally reached the Promised Land and joined Europe's elite.
It was supposed to be the beginning of something big, a seismic change, the catalyst for a new era at Spurs as they announced their presence at Europe's top table - and, of course, their intention to stay there.
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Two months on from that heady night, Tottenham fans can be forgiven for feeling slightly underwhelmed.
As far as transfer activity is concerned, there is precious little evidence that Spurs won both the battle and the war.
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City have splashed out over �60million on Germany's Jerome Boateng, Spain's David Silva and ex-Barcelona anchorman Yaya Toure, who has played in a Champions League final - and won.
Of course, City are incomparably wealthy these days and very few clubs can compete in the transfer market. But that doesn't change the fact that Spurs have seemingly spent all of their time in a fruitless chase for Joe Cole, who was a free agent.
As City, cash-strapped Liverpool and even miserly Arsenal continue to strengthen their ranks, Tottenham fans may be starting to wonder when Harry Redknapp will play the Champions League card, and give Spurs the edge again for the coming campaign.
Fear not, because plans are afoot. Spurs were just as quiet last summer, announcing their first signings on this very day, July 22, as Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton arrived.
That sparked an increase of activity as Peter Crouch, Sebastien Bassong and Niko Kranjcar moved to the Lane and, one year on, Spurs are preparing to move again.
Redknapp has stated that he is close to signing Croatia international Stipe Pletikosa, who was due to join Spurs last summer but failed a medical after suffering a knee injury.
"I might be taking another goalkeeper from Croatia - Pletikosa. There is every chance that I might be getting him so that's good," the Spurs boss said.
Given that Carlo Cudicini was given a one-year contract extension earlier in the summer, it is likely that Pletikosa's arrival would spell the end of Ben Alnwick's Spurs career.
Redknapp has little faith in the 23-year-old, who has made just three first-team appearances and conceded 10 goals - eight of them against Burnley. Jimmy Walker has already left Tottenham after his short-term contract expired.
Spurs are preparing an audacious bid for Manchester City's Micah Richards, who has 11 England caps and was once regarded as the natural successor to Gary Neville before falling from grace, losing his place and missing out on the World Cup squad by a distance.
Redknapp has a history of getting the best out of such players, and the Tottenham manager believes that he can turn the 22-year-old's career around, as he did with Glen Johnson at Portsmouth after the right-back had been discarded by Chelsea.
Richards could play at right-back and centre-back, and his versatility could be invaluable if Jonathan Woodgate fails to recover from his long-term groin injury. Spurs hope to recoup some of the transfer fee by selling right-back Alan Hutton.
It is easy to forget that Spurs have already signed Brazilian midfielder Sandro, who will join his new team-mates when the Copa Libertadores finishes. His arrival could force Jermaine Jenas out of north London.
Having missed out on Cole, the Lilywhites may reignite their interest in Everton's Steven Pienaar, but Redknapp will run the rule over some of his existing flair players first - particularly Giovani Dos Santos and Adel Taarabt.
Redknapp is very keen on Craig Bellamy but he has also name-checked Uruguay's forward trio of Luis Suarez, Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani, and Brazil's Luis Fabiano.
Whoever arrives, Robbie Keane is sure to find himself bottom of the pecking order, and is almost certain to leave.
Meanwhile, Spurs remain hopeful of signing 17-year-old Ipswich striker Connor Wickham, who is expected to be a future England star.