Sport Soccer

Friday 22 August 2014

Soldado in as Bale question lingers

Published 01/08/2013 | 17:33

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Roberto Soldado is joining Tottenham

Tottenham have moved to further strengthen their squad with a deal to sign striker Roberto Soldado from Valencia, but the future of Gareth Bale remains uncertain.

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Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas has been keen to bring in some attacking reinforcements and has long been an admirer of 28-year-old Soldado, who has been a prolific goalscorer in the Primera Division.

The deal, though, is likely to have cost the White Hart Lane club around £26million, the buy-out clause which last week Valencia president Amadeo warned would have to be met to pry the striker away. If so, it would see Tottenham break the club transfer record set when they signed Paulinho for £17million from Corinthians earlier in the summer.

However, were Bale to be sold to Real Madrid - who are ready to pay a world-record £85million for the Wales international - then that outlay on new players would be offset entirely, opening up the possibility of a move for Roma's Argentina forward Erik Lamela.

Confirming the move for Soldado, a statement on the Tottenham official website said: "We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Valencia for the transfer of Roberto Soldado subject to a medical."

Soldado impressed at Valencia after joining from Getafe three years ago, plundering 80 goals during his 146 appearances for the Mestalla club.

He netted 24 goals in La Liga last season and has become an established member of the Spanish national team, who he helped to runner-up spot at this summer's Confederations Cup.

Soldado hails from Valencia but began his career at Real Madrid, scoring 63 goals in 120 league appearances for the B side, Real Madrid Castilla. He also represented the senior team on 16 occasions.

The Spaniard's impending arrival boosts a Spurs strike force that was found light last season, with Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor the first-team's only out-and-out attackers.

Tottenham have also brought in Belgian winger Nacer Chadli from FC Twente, in a deal which is reported to have cost some £7m.

Chadli is in no doubt he has joined a team going places, as Villas-Boas looks to build on last season's fifth place finish.

He said on Spurs TV: "Some clubs wanted me this summer but Tottenham Hotspur was the best choice for me and the best club, a club I can fit in to. I played here three years ago for Twente and I was really impressed with the club, the stadium and all the players.

"As a group, I know we want to reach the Champions League places. Last season was too bad the team didn't make it, but I am sure we can improve and make the first four."

Soldado later urged Bale to stay at White Hart Lane so the pair can form a partnership next season.

Speaking to reporters at Valencia airport before boarding a flight to London to undergo his medical, the 28-year-old was quoted as saying by Spanish newspaper AS: "Bale is a great footballer and you can see the effort Tottenham are making to prevent him from leaving. Of course I want him to stay."

The forward also left with a parting shot at Los Che.

"I'm leaving Valencia because I don't trust or believe in this project," he said.

"I will say it again: I decided to leave the club the moment I lost faith in this project."

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