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Thursday, 24 December 2015

The 12 strikers on Spurs radar this Christmas


With the news that summer signing Clinton Njie will be out for a few months having suffered a knee injury against French side Monaco in the UEFA Europa League, Tottenham may well be stepping up the pursuit of a suitable striker in January. 

What we won't be doing is signing someone just for the sake of it, they will have to add something to the developing squad. Mauricio Pochettino remains calm over his attacking options, trusting his players, it is the media and certain sections of our fans who panic. What is best for developing the squad going forward dictates our transfer activity, even for this window in this situation. Faith, trust, and sticking to the long-term strategy remain in control.


The 12 Spurs Strikers of Christmas


In Germany the press note regularly that Spurs are taking a keen interest in 19-year-old (20 next March) Stuttgart striker Timo Werner the press note regularly that Spurs are taking a keen interest in 19-year-old (20 next March) Stuttgart striker Timo Werner. We attempted to sign him during the summer but were unsuccessful, all that means is we'll keep trying until a new contract is signed and or he becomes too expensive, assuming he progresses as we hope. he has a contract until 2018 and an approximate figure of £7.32-million (US$10.87m - AUS$15.06m - €10m) has been guessed at by the media.

In the UK Saido Berahino is once again the subject of discussions with the press trying to suggest we are at each others throats, but this is business and personal feelings are immaterial when it comes to transfer business. If you didn't deal with every club you supposedly upset you'd never buy and sell to anyone. The 22-year-old (23 next August) has, not surprisingly to me, found no sort of form since WBA refused to grant him the move he seems to feel he was promised. His value is decreasing and will drop further in the summer when he will only have a year left of his contract.

Recently ITK suggested that Christian Benteke has been offered to us by Liverpool. It always seemed a strange move given Liverpool were making the fewest crosses in the league under Brendan Rogers and Bentele says himself he feeds off crosses. Clearly they felt he could adapt yet Jurgen Klopp, who likes his players to put in the type of effort Mauricio Pochettino asks for, has dropped him.

For some time now Spurs have been linked with Ebbsfleet United striker Shilow Tracey and he was invited to join our academy lads for the IMG tournament in Florida. He scored against Baltimore Celtic and Jacksonville Armada playing as a wide attacker. We gave him a trial in October and will be talking to the Kent club. There are plenty of other clubs interested in him and they have been asked to be kept informed if choose not to sign him.

A young Spaniard playing in England has been the subject of our attentions. The 22-year-old (23 next July) Ayoze Pérez Gutiérrez at Newcastle United has developed over the last couple of seasons to catch our eye. He has told a Spanish radio station that the interest in him from us is true but that he is staying at Newcastle until the end of the season.

In France, we are watching Michy Batshuayi, as every fan must know, on a regular basis so clearly we are very interested in his progress and how the 22-year-old (23 next October) responds to a variety of situations. We have opened informal talks with Marseille who need to raise funds still and their opening price is £21.94-million (US$32.62m - AUS$45.20m - €30m) for him. In addition to Tottenham, Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Roma and Juventus are all interested in his signature.

In Belgium, the late developing Laurent Depoitre of Gent is being watched also on a regular basis, but Gent have qualified for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League. He can test himself against Bundesliga side Wolfsburg in the next round and it may sway his departure decision. It is doubtful the 27-year-old would want to leave regular first team football with the 2016 UEFA European Championships taking place next summer. Gent have slapped a £11.70-million (US$17.40m - AUS$24.12m - €16m) price on him.

In Spain Spurs have spoken to Sandro Ramirez of Barcelona. The 20-year-old (21 next July) may well fall further down the pecking order with Arda Turan now available and Luis Enrique looking to strengthen his attacking options, despite a front three of Messi, Neymar and Suarez. A stumbling block is the clause Barcelona want inserted that allows them to buy him back at a set fee. Tottenham won't entertain the idea developing players simply to lose them to their previous club through such a clause, there is no long-term benefit for us in doing so. Sandro has a £8.78-million (US$13.05m - AUS$18.07m - €12m) buy-out clause in his existing contract which ends in 2017.

Also from Spain, we have been linked with a move for 30-year-old (31 next August) Valencia striker Alvaro Negrado but they have now dismissed the manager who wasn't playing him and installed Gary Neville instead. Reports from Spain suggest Neville is an admirer of the Spanish striker and a move in January, even on loan, therefore, looks unlikely.

Nolito at Celta Vigo is another striker we have watched in La Liga, but the 29-year-old (30 next October) has a £13.21-million (US$19.70m - AUS$27.08m - €18m) release clause that Barcelona, Arsenal and ourselves are all unwilling to pay.

In Switzerland Breel Embolo is the subject of our wandering eye. he is a swiss international already and has UEFA Champions League experience with Basel. The 18-year-old (19 next February) is attracting the interest of Liverpool especially, who are actively attempting to sign him, plus Arsenal, Juventus, Barcelona and Wolfsburg. A figure of £21.95-million (US$32.82m - AUS$45.17m - €30m) by the speculative press which will be wide of the mark given Switzerland is not a major league.

In Italy we have been watching 24-year-old (25 next June) Simone Zaza since his Sassuolo days. He joined Juventus last summer after several clubs, including ourselves, made approaches for him. Since then he has made only 284 minutes in 7 different games of Serie A action, scoring 2 goals. Juventus brought him as back-up to Mario Mandzukic (916 minutes, 6 goals), Alvaro Morata (539 minutes, 1 goal) and another new signing Paulo Dybala (1,095 minutes, 8 goals). Juventus want to send him out on loan which again doesn't match our transfer policy. West ham, Watford, Crystal Palace and Arsenal remain interested but unless we can convince the Italian giants to sell he won't be joining us in January.


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