The recriminations between Tottenham and West Brom over the Saido Berahino saga continued yesterday with a rare public statement from the Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, who claimed his club had done nothing wrong in pursuing the player.
Levy went on the offensive over allegations that have been made about Spurs' conduct, chiefly by his opposite number at West Brom Jeremy Peace, who described it as an "unfortunate episode" in which Spurs tried to sign Berahino "cheaply".
It is debatable whether Levy will assuage Peace with his observation that it was nothing "personal". Instead, Levy said the approach to signing Berahino was simply his and Spurs' customary "pragmatic player trading" and that he made "no apologies for being ambitious for the club".
Berahino, who tweeted that he would not play for Peace's club again, has been given a few days off and told to come back next week when he is better disposed to playing. The club have not ruled out disciplinary action, but the mood is to try to repair the relationship.
Spurs sources say that the offer for Berahino was £25m which would have been paid over five years. West Brom understood the deal as totalling a maximum of £22.5m, comprising three £6.5m payments and the rest performance-related, linked to appearances and Spurs' league positions.
It is understood that Peace was upset by what he regarded as derisory incremental rises made by Spurs in their fourth and final offer for the player, just £1.5m more than their second. As for the staggering of payments, Levy said: "There is hardly a transfer concluded across Europe which doesn't include staged payments."
There was also a rebuttal by Levy that the club leaked news of Berahino's transfer request. "We never make anything public ... in the best interests of the players involved," he said.
The Spurs statement included contributions from manager Mauricio Pochettino aimed at explaining the low-key summer player trading, which has left Spurs with Harry Kane as their only recognised striker. Pochettino argued that the new signings Clinton Njie and Son Heung-min could play Kane's role. (© Independent News Service)