Tottenham Hotspur fans hoping to get a view of the trio of Brazilian starlets they have been linked with in the friendly with England last night will have been disappointed to see Leandro Damiao, Bernard and Fernando all make only brief substitute appearances.
The Damiao saga continued yesterday with fresh quotes from the striker yesterday, saying he would prefer a Champions League side, but apparently not ruling out Spurs. The Internacional player is almost certain to leave Brazil this summer, with Napoli and Atletico Madrid, who have both secured a place in the Champions League group stage, likely to be Spurs biggest rivals.
Elsewhere David Villa refused to comment on speculation linking him with a move to Spurs or Arsenal, saying he was only focussing on his role in Spain’s squad for the upcoming Confederations Cup.
Spurs are still reported as in pole position to sign the 31-year-old, but Arsenal have the advantage of Champions League football, and Liverpool might be tempted to enter the race should Luis Suarez move to Real Madrid.
A relatively new name being linked to Spurs is Benfica forward Rodrigo. The 22-year-old has had an excellent season with the Portuguese side, despite the late collapse which saw them miss out on the Europa League to Chelsea and Portuguese league to Porto.
Rodrigo can play anywhere across a three man attack, and a move for the Spain under-21 forward might be an indication that Andre Villas-Boas is planning to switch to the 4-3-3 system he employed so successfully in his unbeaten year at Porto. Rodrigo is rated at around £10million, and would probably come in alongside a more established central striker.
In terms of outgoings, Scott Parker is apparently a target for Fiorentina. The Serie A side are set to lose David Pizzarro, who announced his plans to leave after the Viola missed out on Champions League football, and are lining up a €7million bid for Parker as a replacement.
Parker looked short of form this season at Spurs, and with Tom Huddlestone impressing in the last few matches, Sandro to return from injury, and Tom Carroll challenging for a first team role, Villas-Boas might be happy to let the England international leave if a suitable bid comes in.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald