Tottenham Transfers: Firing Squad Inquiries, a Rolling 'Stone and Alarm Bels

Trent Scott@ IIIJune 29, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 03:  Burak Yilmaz of Galatasaray takes on Raphael Varane of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Real Madrid and Galatasaray at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 3, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

While stories still swirl about Gareth Bale around newspapers worldwide, Tottenham have suddenly gotten goal-frisky on the back pages.

First off is the Mail, who put forward the idea that Spurs are looking to steal in front of the queue for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

There’s no mention of a fee from White Hart Lane, though the two bids that are currently on the table—£20 million from Liverpool and £19.5 million from Borussia Dortmund—give an idea of what kind of money would need to be thrown around.

Sky Sports report that Donetsk are looking for £25 million for the midfielder but are willing to listen to offers, having already seen large chunks of their midfield swept away in big money deals.

Mkhitaryan, playing through the middle of Shakhtar’s 4-2-3-1, was a goal-crazy player that slammed in a Ukraine Premier League record 25 goals last term.

Such is his prowess that back in September of 2012, former Chelsea player Pat Nevin heaped a high bit of praise on the player.


...However of late he has been overshadowed in the squad, as has everyone else by the Armenian Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Eleven goals in eight league matches already is fantastic, but when you add that he is a midfielder, it is phenomenal. You may not have heard of him yet, even if all the scouts at the top European clubs have, but you soon will.

He has pace, skill, a rocket of a shot and the ability to arrive in the box like Frank Lampard. This all singles him out as a player who must be watched or more importantly marked.

Mkhitaryan did not disappoint and would add a formidable attacking outlet to any club that secures his signature.

Towards the end of the Mail’s piece is a small little line that Tottenham have some interest in Galatasaray forward Burak Yilmaz.

The Mirror take over from there, stating that Turkish paper Aksam put Spurs in with a bid of £17 million for the free scoring Turkish forward. Yilmaz scored almost a goal a game for Galatasaray and, considering the fire power the Super Lig champions had at their disposal, that tally is nothing to sniff at.

It is somewhat difficult to see, considering some of the other clubs looking at both players, that Tottenham would likely be able to land either of the two scoring machines.

What it is saying, however, is that Spurs are certainly putting forward the impression that they are willing to spend big and find the players necessary to make a real go towards the top of the Premier League table.

There is a need to ease the pressure aimed at the club by Real Madrid over Bale. Should the club land a few of these players, the statement of intent would surely sway anyone on the fence over their willingness to go big rather than to surrender their prized asset.

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss (But Some Cash)

Tom Huddlestone got a fair amount of starts late in the season as injury hampered Mousa Dembele’s participation. The big man’s long balls gave Spurs a different offensive dimension but, with Tottenham close to signing Paulinho and Sandro’s eventual return, the North London side need a different type of playmaker.

Flexibility and interchangeability are two things needed from the midfield. When one man drives, another has to drop and Huddlestone, for all his endeavor, simply does not have the kind of speed needed to be a defensive anchor in Andre Villas-Boas’ system.

Sunderland, Hull and Fulham look like possible destinations according to the Telegraph, who think £5 million would do the trick.

Huddlestone’s massive hairdo will still be the subject of some considerable attention, considering he is still drawing a blank on the scoresheet since the 2010-11 season. There’s also no truth to the rumor Huddlestone would drop 10 pounds should he score a goal.

Handa-ling the Bel

A name that has not been kicked around for some time is that of Younes Belhanda, the Montpellier playmaker who was the subject of a bid from Tottenham last term.

Boy, Montpellier probably wish they could get that one back.

After a season in which Belhanda and teammate Remy Cabella took Ligue 1 by storm, the stocks of the players have flipped rather dramatically. Cabella became the focal point of Montpellier attack while Belhanda co-lead the team in scoring with 10 goals but now could be on the market for £8 million.

Metro showed that Montpellier president Louis Nicollin had tweeted that the club had two concrete offers for the player. Who those two teams are is a mystery as Nicollin did not offer up where the two bids came from.

Sky Sports listed off a number of major European clubs like Inter and AC Milan, while Spurs, Arsenal and Newcastle are also linked.

Whether or not Spurs have made a bid for the player is not known but considering the interest they had in him last term, it would certainly be worth trying again to make a play for the midfielder.

If Belhanda could recapture some of the 2011-12 form that propelled Montpellier to the top of Ligue 1, there’s certainly a chance that he could find a spot in the attacking midfield at White Hart Lane.


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