Sir Alex Ferguson famously quipped in his book, Leading, that dealing with Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy ‘was more painful than my hip replacement’, as reported by The Standard.
Yet, the eventual transfer of Dimitar Berbatov from Spurs to Manchester United on deadline day 2008 for a then club-record fee of £30.75 million rather summed up this most shrewd of operators. After all, Spurs paid Bayer Leverkusen just £10.9 million for the languid Bulgarian just two years previously, as reported by the BBC.
Levy, love him or hate him, knows how to drive a bargain, get his money’s worth and come out of deals with a substantial profit in his pocket.
Though with The Sun reporting that Spurs are hoping to hijack Valencia’s signing of Geoffrey Kondogbia, you wonder whether another Levy special is just around the corner.
Levying another deal
The report claims that Valencia have an option to sign Kondogbia at the end of his loan spell from Inter Milan for around £22 million – far less than the Serie A giants paid Monaco for his signature two years ago.
And the early signs are that a player who struggled badly to make an impact in Italy is back to his rampaging, Yaya Toure-lite best in La Liga. Anyone who watched Kondogbia dominate Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in Valencia’s 2-2 draw at Real Madrid in August, scoring Los Che’s decisive second goal to boot, will tell you that the 24-year-old is simply unstoppable on top form.
Considering the obscene transfer fees flying around at the moment, it would be so typical of Levy to land a genuinely international class midfielder for a fee £12 million less than Chelsea paid for Danny Drinkwater.