Spurs suffer heavy blow in striker search

Spurs target looks set to stay in Brazil after agreeing long term deal with the club

Tottenham’s hopes of luring Leandro Damiao to White Hart Lane have suffered a massive setback after the Brazil striker signed a new five-year contract with Internacional.

Spurs initially had a �10.6million bid rejected in early June but were believed to have seen an improved �12m offer accepted.

Having previously admitted that it was “inevitable” that Damaio would be sold, Inter president Giovanni Luigi last week announced that three clubs were chasing the 21-year-old.

However, he also revealed that the Brazilian outfit were anxious to hold onto their star forward until the end of their domestic campaign in December.

That stance was a major sticking point in the lengthy negotiations with Spurs – and Tottenham’s hopes of signing Damiao may now be scuppered altogether, after their target put pen to paper on a new long-term deal.

“Plaudits must go to president Giovanni Luigi, who did a tremendous effort to keep him with us for this season,” said coach Paulo Roberto Falcao.

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“This new agreement gives us peace and we can now close the talk of his departure. Now Leandro Damiao is at a wage level with the most valued players in the country.”

Tottenham’s dismay will be confounded by the fact that, since they believed they would eventually get their man, they declined to follow up their interest in another young striker, 18-year-old Connor Wickham.

Spurs have been tracking the England Under-21 international for a while, but considered Damiao to be better value.

That allowed Sunderland to sign 18-year-old Wickham from Ipswich for an �8m fee which could rise to �12m – the same amount that the Lilywhites planned to pay for Damiao.

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