Since picking up a troublesome back injury last year, I seem to have lost a yard of pace, and as a result I’ve rather struggled to keep up with the transfer gossip this window. However, it takes more than the imminent onset of paralysis to stop me from moaning about Spurs, so here for your visual delectation is the most comprehensive guide to transfer rumours at N17 on any site called All Action, No Plot:Kenwyne Jones (Sunderland): Levy’s transfer policy seems pretty simple: pick a half-decent player, double his realistic value, add £5 million – by this time you’re likely to be waving a cheque for £15 million at the chairman of an occasional Premiership club – and hey presto! After 16 mil for Bent, 15 mil for Pav, 15 mil for Bentley and 15 mil for Defoe we’ve now had a 10 mil bid for Jones turned down, with eavesdroppers reckoning that 15 mil should be enough. Sigh. I don’t spend every spare minute studying the form of random Premiership players, but if Jones were really so special he’d be setting the goalscoring charts alight/a household name/sought after by the big four/all of the above.
Wilson Palacios (Wigan): Another one in the magic £15 mil bracket, but merrily this guy has been eyed by Man Utd and Real Madrid – which makes him a darn sight better than Bent or Bentley. Rumour has it that he might be the holding midfielder we’ve been crying out for since the dawn of man, but I know better than to get my hopes up, and fully expect him to materialise as a worse version of Didier Zokora, should he sign. The guy’s autobiography is truly all-action-no-plot, with his 15 year-old brother having been kidnapped and held up for ransom in his native Honduras, poor blighter. Might well be a Spurs player by the time you read this.Stephen Appiah (free agent): Earlier this week I read that Appiah had completed his medical… and returned home. What the blazes? What the hell sort of denoument is that? That’s like watching two hours of Terminator 2, getting to the bit when the evil Terminator corners Sarah Connor in the steelworks factory… and then she wakes up. It would have been a rubbish ending. However, it turned out not to be the ending at all, as Appiah has reportedly reappeared at the Lane to partake in more training sessions and practice matches. Free transfer, which will disappoint Levy, who won’t be able to dish out a further £15 mil.
Craig Bellamy (West Ham): With Man City dithering over whether to go for Bellamy or Kaka, it appears Spurs might yet swoop in for the loveable golf-club-wielding cherub, leaving the red-faced northerners with no option but to splash out on the best Brazilian since Pele. Hahaha, that’ll learn ’em.
Stewart Downing (Middlesborough): Mediocre? Worth not much more than £5 mil? Then Spurs will bid £15 mil for him. I celebrated like we’d won the Carling Cup when I heard that Boro were refusing to let him go. Be warned however – the transfer window still has two weeks to run, so with a dip of his right shoulder and dart out to the left young Downing could yet be heading to the High Road. Would rather stick Three-Touch O’Hara or even Gareth Bale out left for the rest of the season, and then pursue Joe Cole in the summer.
Antonio Valencia: Hmmm, yes, another right winger. Exactly what we need. Smart thinking chaps.
And possibly going the other way…
Jermaine Jenas: Huzzah! How wonderful it is to wake of a morning and, for a change, be greeted by news headlines bearing glad tidings. The report of the successful plane landing on the Hudson River was indeed such positive news, but barely compares to the best rumour of the millenium – that Jermaine Jenas could be on his way out of Spurs. Could it be true? Well, let’s not kill the fattened calf just yet – it seems efforts to add him as a makeweight in any of the above deals have stalled, as none of the clubs in question want him. If only these clubs were managed by any of the Spurs and England managers of the past five years, he’d be an automatic starter… Maybe I do Jenas an injustice here – his effort and attitude has always been admirable, and he was a key component of the team that dismantled l’Arse and Chelski in winning the Carling Cup. He’s still gut-wrenchingly awful though, and his departure from the Lane would make the all-action-no-plot universe a better place.
Darren Bent: Bless him, he can earnestly bleat on all he likes about getting his head down and making the most of his chances, but he’ll never cut it at the Lane. More likely to be mentioned in the same breath as Postiga and Raziak than Greaves and Lineker, it seems that Levy will pretend the whole £16 mil thing never happened, and just chuck him in as a sweetener for Jones or Bellamy, or someone. Worth sticking a fiver on to score against us at some point in 2009.
This article also appears on the cracking Spurs blog The Proud Cockerel: http://www.clubfanzine.com/tottenham_hotspur/index.php