For Tottenham, the summer transfer window has again proved to be something of a misnomer. Such is chairman Daniel Levy's shrewdness in negotiations, that their business is yet again going to be condensed until the final days and likely the final hours before the deadline on August 31.
While he has not admitted it publicly, the scenario must be a frustrating one to new manager Andre Villas-Boas. Last weekend he began the season with just one established striker in Jermain Defoe and for the second-successive campaign their opening fixture was overshadowed by the future of Luka Modric.
The good news for Villas-Boas and Spurs fans is that there are signs that the squad will be balanced out by the beginning of next month.
Emmanuel Adebayor finally completed his protracted move to White Hart Lane in recent days after scoring 17 Premier League goals while on-loan last season. There could also finally be an end in sight to Modric's transfer saga too with ESPN reporting that the Croatian playmaker could become a Real player within the next 48 hours.
Modric is not the only player who may imminently be pulling on another club's shirt. Queens Park Rangers have agreed a fee of £7.5 million with Spurs for defender Michael Dawson. However, according to the BBC, the deal may have hit a hitch over the player's personal terms. While Dawson has been an established member of the first team in recent years, the transfer would represent good business for Tottenham in getting a strong fee for a 28-year-old who perhaps doesn't have the requisite pace to flourish in Villas-Boas' high-pressing style.
Tom Huddlestone is another long-serving Spurs player who may lack the mobility for Villas-Boas. The midfielder, who is returning from an ankle injury that kept him out for much of last season, has been in talks over a loan move to Stoke. Latest reports suggest that the move has also hit problems, however.
In what is sure to be a busy few days, Tottenham could also be prepared to dispense with Rafael van der Vaart. The Dutchman has been again been linked with a return to former club Hamburg. Speaking in his pre-match press conference before Spurs face West Brom on Saturday, Villas-Boas was not giving anything away regarding Van der Vaart's future.
"He's a player who at the moment is not for sale," the Portuguese coach said, according to the Guardian. "In football you never know, anything can happen, but he's a player we are counting on."
With Gylfi Sigurdsson already signed, Van der Vaart's position at Tottenham could be further compromised by the potential signing of Brazilian Willian. Sky Sports have claimed that Tottenham are in talks with Shakhtar Donetsk to sign the offensive midfielder and Villas-Boas has admitted that he is an admirer of the 24-year-old.
"He is a player that I was interested in last year--an extremely talented player," Villas-Boas said, according to ESPN. "I wouldn't want to go very deep because I feel it would be disrespectful for Shakhtar, which is a club I have a good relationship with, so the only thing I can tell you is that last year when I was at Chelsea I was interested in the player."
It has also been suggested that Tottenham are interested in Fulham's Moussa Dembele. Talksport alleges that Spurs are prepared to activate a £15 million buy-out clause in the Belgian's contract at Craven Cottage.
While he was signed as a forward by Fulham two years ago, the 25-year-old flourished in a central midfield role last season and it is in that position where Villas-Boas is likely to want to deploy Dembele.
Despite snapping up Adebayor, Tottenham could still make a move for long-time target Leandro Damiao. While Villas-Boas has played down the prospects of singing the striker, the Guardian reports that Tottenham have had a representative in Porto Alegre this week in an attempt the conclude a deal for the Internacional star.
The 23-year-old's stock has never been higher having emerged as a first choice for Brazil, but, according to ESPN, Tottenham are not put off by Internacional's £20 million asking price.