December 12 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Friday, February 1, 2013
Andre Villas-Boas says Tottenham’s long-running pursuit of Leandro Damiao is over after Spurs failed with their latest bid for the Brazil international on deadline day.
The Lilywhites have been chasing the Internacional forward for the last 18 months and made another move for the 23-year-old yesterday – but they were unsuccessful again.
Speaking at today’s press conference, Villas-Boas said: “We’ve approached this market very sensibly. I’ve kept it open in our conversations, if it was going to go out of proportion we would step out of it.
“The player has been linked recently with Spurs, we’ve made it public before that it’s a player that we chase, but we couldn’t agree on the full conditions so we’ve moved on.
“Could it [a deal for Damiao] happen in the summer? No I don’t think so, it’s probably finished now.”
Villas-Boas said there had been no attempt to sign Joao Moutinho in January following the failed move for the FC Porto playmaker in the summer, but Spurs’ head coach confirmed that Reading had bid for Gylfi Sigurdsson.
“Obviously he’s a player that means a lot to Reading, from their academy,” he said. “He’s a player that Brian [McDermott] appreciates and he probably could have been a big boost for them. But he’s a player that we rate very highly, we couldn’t allow him to leave.”
Tottenham had chased another Brazilian, Willian, in the summer and saw him move to Russian outfit Anzhi Makachkala for £29million yesterday.
“Willian is a very difficult situation because he’s rated very highly by Shakhtar, almost to a point where European clubs can’t compete,” said Villas-Boas.
“Obviously his transfer was made by a crazy amount of money and he’s moved on to a league which is the same level as the Ukrainian league.
“It’s a pity that a player of that talent can’t come to a bigger league because I think his talent is up there, but hopefully everything goes well for him.”
Harry Kane has been recalled from his loan spell at Norwich, and Villas-Boas said: “It was in both teams’ interests and the player’s interests too to be fair.
“Norwich have moved on and have found a striker so they didn’t have the necessity to hold on to Harry, and for us it gives us another option that has come through our youth level, so it’s a common decision.”
Spurs landed Lewis Holtby from Schalke for £1.5million in January, and Villas-Boas was impressed by the 22-year-old’s substitute performance in the 1-1 draw at Norwich on Wednesday.
“He came on and did extremely well. I think he had a direct impact on how we were playing - we improved substantially,” he said.
“Our second half was already good but it also improved when he came on. He linked the game up very well so I’m happy that he made an impact straight away. It’s always important when you bring a player in.
“Could he start this weekend? It’s too early. Obviously he’s just got here, he’s not had a lot of time to settle in, plus he’s settling his personal life as well. He’s one of the possibilities but lots of players are doing well for the team, it’s difficult to get into the team so we’ll have to make a decision tomorrow.”
Tom Huddlestone has returned to training after missing the midweek game at Norwich with a tight quad, and will be available to face West Brom on Sunday.
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs