Sunday, January 17, 2010

Spurs To Beat Wolfsburg, Chelsea, Man United, and Man City to Sign Palermo's Simon Kjaer?

Spurs are on the verge of pipping Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich to the signature of Palermo's highly rated Simon Kjaer.

With Tottenham's two main centre halves, Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate, both suffering with long-term injuries, Harry Redknapp had instructed the club's scouts to scour Europe in their search for good, young defenders with potential.

The two names that came back to Redknapp were Lyon's Dejan Lovren and Palermo's Simon Kjaer.

Spurs missed out on Lovren after he agreed to join Les Gones from Croatia Zagreb for €10m, while negotiations with Kjaer are now believed to be at a very advanced stage.

The young defender from Horsens in Denmark is one of the most highly rated young defenders operating in Europe today. At 6"3' he is an ideal height for a centre half in England.

Both tall and strong, the defender has shown that he is a very good reader of the game during his time in Palermo, decisive in the tackle and dominant in the air. He is a much sought after player.

In 2007, after making his debut with FC Midtjylland, he was courted by the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid, and even rejected a move to Los Blancos to further develop his career.

That year he was voted Danish U-19 Player of the Year after a highly successful debut professional season.

The following year, after only 21 professional games, he moved to Palermo in Italy for £4m and has become an integral part of the Serie A side since his impressive debut against Fiorentina.

He has always been on the radar for every major side in Europe and it now looks as if Spurs and Harry Redknapp have beaten off some very well-known clubs for his signature.

In December, Manchester City had an £18m bid accepted by Palermo but rejected by the player, while city rivals United have increased their scouting presence over the last couple of weeks. Chelsea and Liverpool have only stepped up their interest in recent weeks.

However, Spurs are believed to have tracked the player over his last impressive year. In 2009 at the tender age of 20, Kjaer was voted Danish Footballer of the Year.

Kjaer was Denmark's standout player in their successful World Cup qualification and marked Zlatan Ibrahimović completely out of the match in the 1-0 win over Sweden that booked their place in the finals.

He has played 18 in Serie A this season for Palermo and has been one of the first names on the clubs team sheet since making his debut in October 2008.

Even though City bid £18m for the youngster, it looks likely that Spurs may get their man for only £11m, as the young defender has a get out clause in his contract for the said amount.

Signing the starlet would be a massive coup for Spurs, as he has attracted attention from all of Europe's top clubs as an emerging talent.

With Liverpool and Manchester United suffering with financial problems and unable to buy before selling, Spurs have moved quickly to secure Kjaer's signature.

Palermo's Sporting Director, Walter Sabatini, flew to London this week to hold talks with Tottenham's chairman Daniel Levy and was accompanied by the player's agent as he continued to discuss terms for his client.

The young Dane, a lifelong Liverpool supporter, is known for coolness on the pitch and his maturity off it, and he should be a Palermo player no longer come the end of this transfer window.

Now is the time to sign the player as he is being widely tipped to have a successful World Cup after Denmark were drawn in a highly negotiable group with Cameroon, Japan, and Holland.

Whomever he advisers may be, Kjaer's first thought has always been to develop his career over monetary gain, hence turning down Madrid in 2007 and Middlesbrough in 2008.

He has been quoted as saying: “If United just had two defenders whilst Liverpool had three, I would choose United without hesitation. It does not help to choose with the heart in that kind of situation. I am a professional.”

Earlier this transfer window, Spurs agreed a £6.5m fee with Internacional of Brazil 20-year-old central midfielder Sandro.

Terms have also been agreed between the player and the club and all that's left to negotiate is when he will arrive. Spurs want him now while Inter want him to remain until the summer.

The Brazilian U-20 captain is one of the most highly rated youngsters in the country at the moment and was named as one of the most influential players of the season after Inter finished second to Flamengo.

If Spurs do get Kjaer as many fans hope, it would be another major coup and another step in the right direction for the club.

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