Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Three first team players to leave? Not until the summer

Now I'm not one to normally waste time blogging about transfer rumours. After all, we are one of the largest and most popular clubs in the world, so it is inevitable that the press will write all sorts about us on a regular basis. However, in the last two days there are various stories surrounding three of our better players... so I thought I'd share my thoughts.

Firstly, let's look briefly at the situation with Berbatov. It seems that there has been more written about this then any other story for months now. But the fact is Berba is under contract, Ramos is beginning to get the best out of him, he always looks moody and sulky (I'm sure it's how he is and he isn't in fact p*ssed off with Spurs or his team-mates), and moving to a new club mid-season is never ideal. Let's face it, if Berba does want to move on then there's not a huge amount we can do about it, but I'm confident that our board are ambitious enough to hold on to him until at least the end of the season. I do believe that there were rumours last summer that his contract has a clause in it which means he's entitled to leave this summer if we don't qualify for the Champions League (which let's face it, we obviously won't achieve).

Despite several weeks of rumours suggesting that Defoe wants to stay and the club are keen for him to sign a new deal, I am surprised to hear that Ramos called him into his office yesterday and told him he's free to leave. That doesn't seem consistent with the last interview I heard with Levy. If we want to be a successful club then I do believe we need four quality strikers and hence feel that there is a role for Defoe to play at Spurs. However, I rate Keane and Berba ahead of him and therefore realise that it will be frustrating for JD. The player himself has said that he's willing to fight for his place, but I am concerned this will help no-one. He won't sign a new contract until he gets first team football. So the longer he stays under the current set-up, the more likely it is he will leave for free (or for a very modest transfer fee). Although Defoe would benefit from such a scenario (Bosman signings undoubtedly result in higher signing on fees), the club would seriously lose out. Airing the internal discussions in public is never a good thing - but as far as I'm concerned there is a lot more that needs to be sorted out with Defoe... I expect he'll stick around until the end of the season, but I'm not sure he'll be a Spurs player by the time the new season kicks off.

Rather surprisingly, there are also new rumours surrounding the future of Chimbonda. Although it was clear Chelski were after him last summer, it seems that this time around the rumours are a result of what Spurs are doing rather than any other club. Pascal has understandably got the hump with the club's failed bid for Hutton and the signing of young Gunter from Cardiff. It is alleged that he's getting worried about his position and went seeking reassurances from Ramos, but was told that although he has a future at the club it is as a centre-back and not as a full-back. I know Ramos has a reputation for playing people out of position, and I know Pascal has done a decent enough job playing in the middle when called upon... but it's only a stop-gap while we have such severe injury problems. Chimbonda is our right-back and should stay there. He was voted the top right-back in the country two years ago in only his first season in the Premier League. If the club persist in playing him out of position I wouldn't be surprised to see him leave this summer too.

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