Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tottenham Transfers: 5 Last Minute Harry Redknapp Targets

He may not like being called a "wheeler dealer" but no transfer window can go by without Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp pulling a deal out of nowhere.

The window still has another eight hours to go and Spurs have already pulled off some of the best deals of the window as Emmanuel Adebayor, Brad Friedel, Scott Parker and Souleymane Coulibaly have all joined the club for less that £10 million, albeit with Adebayor only joining on loan from Manchester City.

Heavy defeats against Manchester United and Manchester City in their opening two games of the season guarantees that the White Hart Lane fax machine will be working right up until 23:00 GMT.

Here we look at some of the transfer targets Harry Redknapp is more than interested in...

Name : Gary Cahill

Team: Bolton Wanderers

Position: Centre Half

Value: £12m-£15m

The 14-year-old England international was the centre of attention earlier in the transfer window as Arsene Wenger tried to bring the defender in to shore up his leaky defence.

That bid seemed to crash and burn as Bolton's chairman, Phil Garside, tweeted that the bid was derisory. In the end Arsenal moved for Per Mertesecker while Harry Redknapp jumped right in and offered Owen Coyle a deal involving players and payments.

The big question now is whether Owen Coyle will accept the deal or not.

Redknapp may be able to sell him Sebastian Bassong as a replacement centre half easily enough but the deal may hinge on whether Coyle accepts players like Bentley, Jenas, Kranjcar, or perhaps one or two of Tottenham's Academy team.

There is no doubting that Redknapp is trying to buy characters rather than supreme players as he feels his dressing room has become too quiet following the release of Jonathan Woodgate and the sale of Wilson Palacios.

Both Parker and Cahill fit exactly into the profile of the player Harry is looking for so expect Spurs to push this deal as far as they can.

Name : Craig Bellamy

Team: Manchester City

Position: Forward

Value: Free

Kenny Dalglish and Neil Warnock are the two main interested parties that Harry Redknapp will have to hold off if he is to bring Craig Bellamy into the club.

Having just signed Emmanuel Adebayor and announced to Sky Sports News that Peter Crouch may move to Sunderland to free up space in the squad the move for Bellamy would be purely opportunistic and tactical.

Redknapp has settled on a 4-5-1 formation to suit Rafael van der Vaart but he has no cover for either the Dutchman or Adebayor who will presumably play at the top of the formation.

Bellamy would immediately give Harry a player of Premier League quality who could cover both positions brilliantly for free. Hence the opposition for his signature.

As mentioned before, Redknapp is looking for leaders on the pitch and in the dressing room and as Bellamy has matured he has grown into the kind of leader few would have predicted.

The main problem here is that Bellamy's signing may be predicated by the sales of other Tottenham players like David Bentley and Jermaine Jenas.

Name : Leandro Damiao

Team: Internacional

Position: Striker

Value: £15m-£20m

Spurs and Harry Redknapp have been linked with the 22-year-old ever since they signed Sandro from Internacional and as part of that deal they also linked up with the club with a view to getting first preference on their youth production line.

As a player Damiao is a perfect fot for Redknapp and his preferred 4-5-1 but both he and Levy have reservations about the price tag of the inexperienced youth.

The 6'1" striker has only played for one season in Brazil making 42 appearances and scoring a healthy 15 goals into the bargain. Such was his good form that Menezes, Brazil's manager, has drafted him into recent friendly squads with a view to a measured introduction towards international football and possibly Brazil 2014.

Make no mistake about it, Spurs have money to burn having bid huge sums for centre forwards based in Spain last January but they are keen to only buy the right fit, Leandro Damiao could possibly be it.

Name : Yossi Benayoun

Team: Chelsea

Position: Attacking Midfielder

Value: £1m-£4m

The little Israeli seems to have been frozen out at Stamford Bridge and is believed to be available for transfer. Spurs and Arsenal were both monitoring his availability earlier in the transfer window and now his agent has confirmed that the player will leave for either Spurs, Arsenal, or return back to Liverpool.

At Spurs he would immediately provide competition for Aaron Lennon as well as providing cover for Rafael van der Vaart while at Arsenal or Liverpool he would be only used sparingly as a reserve back up so the deal has to be sweet as it is likely to be his last major contract in football.

Again he fits the profile of a player able to play 4-2-3-1, 4-5-1, or 4-4-2 so he would be highly sought after wherever he goes.

He is a model professional but is not what you would consider a "character" and this seems to be the main requisite for Harry Redknapp in this transfer window.

However, we know that Harry is interested and he is never one to turn down a cheap deal, and Benayoun would most certainly be that.

Name : Lassana Diarra

Team: Real Madrid

Position: Central Midfield

Value: £7m-£10m

Redknapp faces stiff opposition for Lassana Diarra as AS Roma have entered the race late on.

For a long time Spurs were pretty much the only team who were negotiating with Real Madrid and for that reason the talks have dragged on for the last six weeks or so.

The stumbling block in the talks for Spurs is Diarra's prohibitive wages. Currently he is on around £120,000 per week but the Tottenham wage structure's peak is an estimated £70,000 per week.

Levy and Redknapp are willing to pay the player that amount but want Real Madrid to pick up the rest while Real Madrid want to get the player and his hefty wages off their wage-bill and are almost willing to forego a transfer fee to do so.

Having sold Wilson Palacios and now signed Scott Parker and with Tom Huddlestone, Luka Modric and Sandro still at the club central midfield is already congested so Redknapp's interest may have cooled somewhat.

However, Spurs have a previous relationship with Real Madrid after the transfer of Rafael van der Vaart so if they two sides can compromise this deal will still be very much alive until 23:00.

Name : Luka Modric

Team: Tottenham Hotspur?

Position: Central Midfield

Value: £25m-£40m

The Luka Modric transfer saga has been one of the longest running stories of the summer as Chelsea pursued their target. And the ripple effects of the chase has been felt as far as the Tottenham training ground.

Daniel Levy's refusal to sell a player, who just signed a new six year contract, on principle if fine but holding onto an unhappy player could have a detrimental effect on the clubs Champions League ambitions this year.

If Spurs can hold onto the player they will have one of the best protagonists in the game at what he does but the question remains; will he play well?

And if Spurs do sell him it would give them the money to bring in up to four or five players to improve the squad.

Its a Catch 22 situation for Spurs as they don't really want Modric to be so unhappy that his game falters but at the same time if they do sell him they will also have to move other players on as they have a very large squad and wage demands are the key element in football finances these days.

Keeping while he's on good form and playing in the Champions League is a no brainer but will Spurs be in the Champions League next year?

Harry will have to work some magic today if they are to make that far.