Tottenham look set to beat rivals Arsenal to the signature of Blackburn centre-back Christopher Samba. A bid of around of £12m is expected but there is also the possibility of a swap deal.
This week has seen Harry Redknapp fighting tooth and nail to keep influential midfielder Luka Modric at White Hart Lane. The purchase of much-sought after Samba will be welcome relief from that. Especially if, as expected, it leaves the Gunners in the lurch.
Tottenham have a whole host of players who could be used to reduce the transfer fee. Peter Crouch, Sebastian Bassong, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Wilson Palacios, David Bentley and Jermain Defoe are all players that could well leave White Hart Lane this summer.
Blackburn had a terrible time in front of goal last season, finishing as fifth lowest scorers in the league, and so will push for striking reinforcements as part of any swap deal.
Rovers’ three main strikers, Jason Roberts, Nikola Kalinic and David Hoilett, totalled only 15 goals between them. In fact, Samba ended the season joint second top scorer, which highlights the problem.
Rovers boss Steve Keen is hoping to secure a deal for either Jermain Defoe or Peter Crouch, though it remains to be seen whether either player will fancy a move to Ewood Park in such an important.
Aged 28 and 30 respectively, this may be the pair’s last chance to make an impression at a major competition for England. Moving to a side who have struggled with relegation in recent years may not be favourable.
Despite settling his differences with Steve Kean following Sam Allardyce’s scandalous sacking, Samba is known to want a move away from Ewood Park and though he would prefer a move to a team in the Champions League, would undoubtedly see Spurs as an attractive proposition.
Do Spurs need him though? With Gallas, Dawson, King, Kaboul and Bassong available in Samba’s position, it is not even certain that the Congolese defender would get a place in the starting place in the side.
£12m seems an awful lot of money to spend on a substitute, but were any swap deal to be done, this would make a lot more sense for Tottenham. Sending David Bentley back to the club where he made his name is also a possibility at this stage.