It was a day of mixed fortunes in Tottenham Hotspur’s hunt for a new striker yesterday, but undoubtedly the most important news was seeing their number one target David Villa opt for a move to Atletico Madrid instead of White Hart Lane.
Villa had reportedly been courted by Andre Villas-Boas and Franco Baldini, but decided to stay in Spain and, perhaps crucially, the Champions League with Atletico. With Villa unavailable, how Spurs go abut securing a new striker might come down to how much they are willing to spend, and once again it could be a frustrating summer for their fans.
However there was better news from another Villa, with Christian Benteke handing in a transfer request late last night. The 22-year-old Belgian is on the wish list of several Premier League clubs, with Spurs and Chelsea currently expected to lead the chase.
However Aston Villa will not let Benteke go cheap, with the striker’s contract running for another three years at Villa Park, and the Midlands side are apparently demanding at least£25million.
Benteke scored 23 goals in all competitions last night, with his prolific debut season a key reason for Villa’s Premier League survival. Although there is always a risk that a player can struggle in their second year in the Premier League, there will be plenty of clubs aiming to sign the Belgian this summer, and Spurs will likely have to smash their transfer record to bring Benteke to White Hart Lane.
Another forward Spurs might turn to is Valencia’s Roberto Soldado, with reports that a £25million bid is being considered for the Spanish player. Soldado is three years younger than Villa, but will cost considerably more, with Valencia hoping to get the £25million buy-out clause that is written into his contract.
Spurs have apparently already had a £17million bid for Soldado turned down, and it is unlikely they will be prepared to pay £25million for a player who will have little resale value at the end of his time at White Hart Lane.
image: © Victor Gutierrez Navarro