Few things are certain in life, but one thing that can be assured is the continual linking of Spurs with signing forwards. From before the days of Glenn ‘We almost signed Rivaldo’ Hoddle right up until ‘Appy ‘Arry’s and Desperate Dan’s last-minute transfer window efforts, Tottenham, speculation and strikers go hand in glove.
It’ll be no surprise to hear then that Tottenham have been linked again with Spanish forward and Athletic Bilbao frontman, Fernando Llorente, in what would be one of the summer’s major transfer signings. Indeed, those of you with a reasonably reliable memory will remember that Spurs made a £26million bid for the lofty forward at the very end of the January transfer window.
It’s maybe not such a surprise then that Spurs are ready to return to Bilbao with an improved offer this summer. The real news here is that Tottenham, who were clear favourites for the Spaniard’s signature, now face new competition from European powerhouse, Bayern Munich.
It has been reported in Spain that the German champions, who are currently in a relatively lowly 4th place in the Bundesliga, have made the 6’5″ forward their main summer target, as they look to find a suitable partner for German international, Mario Gomez. The 26-year-old striker, who has been in the Bilbao first team squad since 2005, has bagged 16 goals in all competitions this season and has won 13 caps for Spain over the last 3 years.
Harry Redknapp will almost certainly get rid of Robbie Keane in the summer, and with the indifferent Premier League form of Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko, it is understood that bringing a target-man of Llorente’s stature is a key ambition for Tottenham during the next transfer window.
Bayern have a lot to offer Llorente, they’re a massive club which has European pedigree and an outstanding stadium, but the Bundesliga is not considered to be the same standard as the Premier League and La Liga and the Spaniard may feel the lure of the more glamourous Premier League is stronger.
Either way, I feel that the £31million fee Atheltic Bilbao are insisting on receiving for Llorente is too much for Tottenham to pay; the striker has a league scoring record of less than 1 in 3 and is not of the sort of standard that would help take Spurs to the next level. It seems that Redknapp and Levy are very interested in the rangy striker though, but they will be facing a tough battle from Bavaria’s finest for him.
For more rumour, conjecture, thoughts and theories, follow me on Twitter: @stuartcfootball
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