Spurs on the Verge On Signing Sandro, While Talks for Moussa Sissoko Continue
Spurs and Harry Redknapp look to be on the verge of a major coup as 20-year-old Brazilian international Sandro is expected to sign for Tottenham when the Campeonato Brasileiro concludes this weekend. The Lilywhites are also believed to be talking to Moussa Sissoko's advisers about the possibility of a move in January...
Sandro has been on Tottenham's radar for most of the past year after Spurs ramped up their scouting system in South America. The 20 year old midfielder has been instrumental in Internacional's challenge for the title this year, and going into the final weekend of action they sit two points behind current leaders Flamengo.
"We've been looking at Sandro. He's just breaking into the Brazilian team from the under-21s. He can play—he's a modern day midfield player."
"Ian Broomfield, my chief scout, was in Brazil and watched a lot of games. There were a couple of players there that he came back and recommended strongly."
"I'd like to go and have a look myself as well and, if we do decide to do anything, it'll be up to the chairman to push it on from there.
"He's similar to Gilberto. He's more of a holding midfield player, but (Sandro) he is a very good footballer."
As with many players from South America these days, the transfer fee will be complicated. Internacional own 70 percent of Sandro's rights, while a third party of businessmen and agents own the other 30 percent, which will have to be bought out if Spurs are to comply with Premier League rules.
Sandro joined Inter at the tender age of 16 in 2005 and was an integral part of their youth team for two years before he was fast tracked into first team action.
A tall, dynamic midfielder, the young Brazilian is at his best as a holding midfielder, where his primary role for Inter has been destructive.
However, Sandro often initiates his team’s many attacks with his penetrating runs through midfield, his style is also very simplistic and he rarely gives the ball away with percentage passes.
It was primarily this skill that attracted Dunga to the young midfielder, and he was handed a debut in the 4-2 win over Chile in September.
Since then, Dunga has left all of his domestic based potential stars out of successive squads as the Campeonato moved towards it's climax.
His importance to Internacional also had an impact on him representing the Brazilian U-20 team in the recent U-20 World Cup in Egypt, as he was deemed too important to travel for what is a meaningless tournament for established players. It was an unfortunate blow for the youngster as he captained Brazil throughout it's qualifying campaign for the competition.
Sandro is a strong and hard working player with a good engine that makes him a modern box to box midfielder. He is also very aggressive in the tackle, although he can be impetuous, he has picked up seven yellow cards this season.
He is also a natural leader on the pitch, and it is this skill that Redknapp will be most interested in as Spurs are badly lacking players of character.
The creative side of his game is where Sandro is in need of most improvement, but Redknapp will be more interested in his other talents as he strengthens their lightweight midfield.
As for Moussa Sissoko, Daniel Levy refused to go above Toulouse's asking price of £12 million during the summer. However, following a highly successful start to his campaign they may have to add another £5 million to his asking price.
Sissoko has been in such rare form since August that heavyweights Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Lyon, and Manchester City, have all begun to track the 20 year old.
The powerfully built youngster has been compared to a young Patrick Vieira, and it is little wonder that he is keeping the ex-Arsenal player out of the current French squad.
Spurs were also linked with a move for Vieira in August, only for the midfielder opting to stay with Inter, where he has seen his chances severely limited.
In the long run, the signing of either or both midfielders will have a massive impact on the future of several Tottenham midfielders.
18 year old prodigy, John Bostock, is on loan at Brentford until the end of the season, and is expected to become part of a new look Spurs squad next summer.
Meaning that the likes of Jamie O'Hara, Jermaine Jenas, and David Bentley will all be looking for new homes next year.
Harry Redknapp is in the middle of a massive change in the footballing culture at White Hart Lane, and he will be keen to avoid the pitfalls of previous managers who signed "the next big thing" only for them to backfire time and time again.
If Redknapp is known for anything in his 25 year career, it is as a fantastic judge of young players.
Spurs fans will be hoping he gets these signings right.