Spurs boss discusses Tottenham’s transfer activity and remaining targets
Andre Villas-Boas has refuted suggestions that Tottenham are continuing to chase Brazil forward Leandro Damiao, and insists that he is not looking to sign another striker.
Spurs’ head coach said after Saturday’s defeat at Newcastle that he was hoping to land ‘one more striker’ before September 1, and Emmanuel Adebayor completed his protracted move to White Hart Lane on Tuesday.
Reports have suggested that the Lilywhites are still planning to change their front line, hoping to replace Jermain Defoe with Internacional’s Damiao – but Villas-Boas maintains that he is content with his current strike force.
“Leandro is a fantastic player that I know of,” said the Portuguese. “I went to see him in Brazil when I was not doing anything.
“He’s obviously a good player but he’s not on our prospects at the moment because I think we have closed on what we are trying doing to do with the striker situation.
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“Do we need to bring another striker onboard? I don’t think so. In my opinion what we want to build is that there is one striker up front, in our ideal system. With Adebayor and Defoe, and [Harry] Kane coming through, I think I have enough options.
“We’ve been trying to close this deal [with Adebayor] for quite some time. Obviously the player now is ours and he produced a fantastic season last year, so it adds to our solutions and our options and we’re very happy to have him onboard.
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“I spoke to Defoe’s agent two days ago and the conversations have been extremely productive. I have immense confidence in the player, I appreciate his qualities so I’m hoping that he will continue to be a Tottenham player in the future.”
Spurs have also been linked with a move for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Willian – and Villas-Boas admits that he is an admirer of the Brazilian midfielder.
“He’s a player that I was interested in last year when I was at Chelsea, he’s an extremely talented player,” said the Tottenham boss. “But I wouldn’t want to go very deep because I feel that it would be disrespectful for Shakhtar, which is a club that I have a good relationship with.”
Any move for Willian would probably have to wait until Luka Modric’s departure, and Villas-Boas is hoping that the Croatian will complete his move to Real Madrid over the Bank Holiday weekend.
“The chairman has told me that the talks are ongoing and they are making some progress, and the situation can be solved within the next couple of days,” he said.
“At the moment, as I told you before, the player continues to train apart and he will stay like that until the end of the transfer window I guess.”
Michael Dawson could also be on his way out of White Hart Lane after Spurs accepted a bid from QPR – but Villas-Boas insists he would be perfectly happy if the move falls through and the 28-year-old defender remains in north London.
“There was some interest shown by QPR and we’ve allowed the player to speak to QPR,” he said. The player hasn’t reached an agreement.
“Michael is a player of immense human dimension, an extremely good player and an English international, which we respect.
“My conversation with Michael was very open – we would listen to offers, but if the scenario in the end of the transfer window ended up with Michael staying, it will be an extremely good privilege for us. The player trained today so obviously he is in contention for the game against West Brom.
“The situation was very open between us and at the moment I can’t do anything else. The player has considered the option that was made available to us - the offer from QPR. We’ve allowed the player to speak, they haven’t reached an agreement. I can’t tell you anything else but I’m very glad that the player is still with us, as he still offers us possibilities at the back.
“There is competition, and you end up with more competition, and the player is aware of that. Obviously everyone wants to play, everyone wants to be part of the team.
“In an ideal situation you have four central defenders. Having five means an extra man and an extra body in competition, if everybody is happy with it and we are happy with it. The player obviously has high expectations for playing, and it depends more on them to face this competition than the manager.”
Tom Huddlestone is also on his way out as he completes a loan move to Stoke City – but Villas-Boas is adamant that the midfielder still has a bright future at Tottenham.
“I had an excellent conversation with Tom,” he said. “I think in an ideal world the way I’ll try to build up this squad for the future is to play in different structures, and in that sense Tom can be very decisive, and that’s what I told him - we may eventually shift to a 4-3-3 in the future.
“That’s why I asked the player to consider a loan, because I need him to get match fit after an injury like the one he had, which put him out for so much time.
“As competitive as the environment is at the moment, I felt that the player could have ended up with less opportunities, thus not allowing him to get to match fitness as quickly as we want. We allowed the player to speak to Stoke on this loan situation, and at the moment it’s still ongoing.
“We can’t wait to have Tom back to match fitness level because I think he deserves, for the amount of time he has been out, opportunities and playing time. I’m looking forward to having him back from a six-month loan or one-year loan to Stoke, and having him back in my team.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs