Tottenham Transfer News: Villa, Moutinho, Damiao And Benteke Linked As Spurs Seek Champions League Return

 @JasonLeMiere
on May 20 2013 4:06 PM
Andre Villas-Boas
Despite final-day disappointment, Andre Villas-Boas has reason to be optimistic about his second season in charge at White Hart Lane. Reuters

Tottenham may have fallen agonizingly short of Champions League qualification on the final day of the season, once again, but there is much to be optimistic about at White Hart Lane. In Andre Villas-Boas’s first season in charge, Tottenham achieved a record points haul for the club in the Premier League and that after losing one of the side’s most influential players last summer -- Luka Modric.

Providing that Tottenham hang onto their most influential player this close season in Gareth Bale then the club should be looking to secure the remaining one or two pieces of the jigsaw to not only make the Premier League’s top four but also potentially get in the running for a title challenge.

The most obvious area where Tottenham need strengthening is up front. Indeed, if there is one real criticism of the club this season it is that chairman Daniel Levy didn’t back his manager in signing a top class striker in January when Jermain Defoe was struggling with injury and Emmanuel Adebayor was reverting to the lackadaisical performances that appear his default.

The man that Tottenham were chasing in the last transfer window, as they have for the best part of two years, was Internacional front man Leandro Damiao. A late bid was rejected for the 23-year-old Brazil international, but his club have recently revealed that talks have resumed, with the suggestion that a move is likely this summer.

“If a club want a player, they must talk to the president of the club at which that particular player plays, and not just deal with the agent -- that is not correct behavior,” Internacional president Giovanni Luigi said, according to Sky Sports.

"Recently we talked with Tottenham, Leandro is very likely to play games in England in the coming year. On the other hand, we can exclude Napoli."

In recent weeks there has been strong speculation that Tottenham have already begun negotiations for Barcelona forward David Villa. The 31-year-old was close to a move to Arsenal in January and, while Barcelona rejected the approach then, it is believed that the Spanish champions are prepared to listen to offers this summer.

Villas-Boas has admitted he is a big fan of Spain’s all-time record goal-scorer.

"I tried to move him to Chelsea [last season]," he said, according to the Guardian. "He's a world-renowned striker.”

Spurs could yet look to sign a striker who has Premier League experience, with strong reports of interest in Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke. The Belgium international only arrived in England for £7 million last summer, but, having scored 19 goals in his first Premier League season, he has been linked with several top sides. The Daily Mirror has claimed that Tottenham will go head-to-head with Arsenal over the 22-year-old, who they believe will cost around £20 million.

Another deficiency in the Tottenham squad that could need addressing is the lack of a quality playmaker in the midfielder. Porto’s Joao Moutinho was desperately close to joining the club last summer to replace Modric before a last-minute hitch. But, according to the Sun, Villas-Boas is set to return for the 26-year-old in the upcoming transfer window. Potential hurdles to a deal include a reported £30 million asking price and interest from nouveau-riche Monaco. 

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