Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tottenham Hotspur Target Aston Villa's Ashley Young in Swap for David Bentley

Things have been quiet at White Hart Lane over the last month or so. Transfer speculation surrounded who was leaving rather than who was coming in, but that all changed today with the news that Spurs are about to launch a bid for Aston Villa's Ashley Young.

Martin O'Neill, who sold Gareth Barry to Manchester City this week, is rumoured to have contacted Spurs about the availability of David Bentley.

The ex-Blackburn star endured a nightmare season at White Hart Lane after his £15m move, and Harry Redknapp recently indicated that the English international's future might be away from White Hart Lane as he sees Aaron Lennon as his preferred option on the right.

Spurs are willing to let Bentley go for a fee of around £8m, and O'Neill is tempted by the price, but there is a catch. Spurs want Ashley Young in return and are willing to part with as much as £10m plus David Bentley to acquire the left-side player.

For Spurs, the move would be a dream one. The problem on the left side of midfield would be solved in one fell swoop, as Young, the PFA Young Player of the Year, is regarded as one of the brightest stars at that position.

He can also be adapted as a left-side forward should Spurs choose to change formation from Redknapp's traditional 4-4-2.

For Villa, the move would mean their that they would have lost a third key player in less than six months, following Martin Laursen's forced retirement and Gareth Barry's aforementioned move to City.

And with Young out of contract in 2012, and being reluctant to sign a new deal, Martin O'Neill might see this as a chance to get in an international and some much needed funding.

In reality, I can't see the move happening. O'Neill was stubborn when Liverpool came knocking last year and demanded £18m, but Spurs do have the money. It would also give Harry the chance to get a player he does not want off his books.

Spurs would face stiff opposition for Young's signature, as both Real Madrid and Chelsea are believed to be monitoring the situation.

This moves look unlikely as Ancelotti has never employed wingers in his time at Milan, while Madrid are on the verge of capturing David Silva from Valencia.

Spurs are also said to be chasing Richard Dunne from Manchester City. The City captain is unhappy with his wages at the Eastlands and feels that he should have parity with it's high paid stars like Robinho. And Harry Redknapp feels that Dunne would provide the strength of character that his team needs to take the next step.

Towards the end of the season, Redknapp was furious with Ledley King, who has to be wrapped in cotton wool between matches after the centre half went out on a night on the town with his friends and ended up being arrested while drunk and disorderly.

And a move for a player of Dunne's stature would surely signal that the club are prepared to move forward without their injury-prone star.

Elsewhere, Steve Bruce has resurrected the possibility of Darren Bent going to Sunderland while Kenwyne Jones moves in the opposite direction in another player-plus-cash deal. Spurs would have to stump up another £10m and take a massive loss on a player they signed for a ludicrous £18m only a couple of years ago.

It would also seem that Didier Zokora's days at White Hart Lane are at an end. Sevilla are chasing the Ivory Coast star, but are only willing to pay £6m, while Tottenham are demanding at least £8m.

The move to Spain could hinge on whether Tom Huddlestone moves to Bolton, Aston Villa, or Fulham. Huddlestone has seen himself slip down the pecking order under Redknapp since Wilson Palacios' signing in January, and he recently spoke of his need for first team football.

Despite having Alan Hutton and Vedran Corluka at right full and with Benoit Assou-Ekotto only showing his potential last season and Gareth Bale having a nightmare at left full, Harry has singled out Glen Johnson as a player he would love to bring to White Hart Lane.

With Liverpool's recent financial problems meaning that almost all transfers into the club have been suspended, Spurs have been quick to exploit the situation but they face competition from both Manchester City and Chelsea.

It would seem more likely that Spurs would move for Darijo Srna from Shaktar Donetsk, at £3m they would be signing a right full of incomparable ability while it would free Corluka to move inside as cover.

Other players looking to move away from White Hart Lane are Kevin Prince-Boateng, who recently returned from a loan deal with Borussia Dortmund; Giovani Dos Santos; and Chris Gunther.

Although another season in the Championship for players like Gunther, Dos Santos, Taarabt is likely, they should be joined by players like Obika, and Bostock who have really impressed in the youths recently.

Transfer time is always busy, especially at Tottenham. But this season you get the feeling that the manager knows exactly what he wants and that the board will actually help him to achieve this rather than hinder him, as has been the case over the last 10 years.

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