Villas-Boas swoops for £8m Sigurdsson
Andre Villas-Boas began his overhaul of the Tottenham squad yesterday with the £8m signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson. The club are now also considering a bid for France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Tottenham saw off interest from Liverpool to make Sigurdsson, who starred for Swansea last season, their first signing since Villas-Boas was confirmed as manager, and they're also still progressing on deals for Ajax centre-back Jan Vertonghen and Brazil star Oscar.
Villas-Boas also hopes to enhance his goalkeeping options, with the club having had a long-standing interest in Lloris. Although Brad Friedel was again a model of consistency last season, he is now 41 and there is a feeling that they should recruit further competition and a long-term replacement.
Tottenham will hope Lyon will sell at closer to £10m than their current £16m asking price.
Whether Lloris would want to join a club outside of the Champions League is also highly questionable. Jean-Michael Aulas, the Lyon president, yesterday said that any deal for Lloris would need to be completed within the next 10 days. "I have deep respect for Hugo -- the man and the player," said Aulas. "Hugo said he would like to leave if he had an opportunity to play in one of the five biggest European clubs.
"We talked before, during and after Euro 2012. We are perfectly in tune on the subject. If any of these clubs made a proposal to the value of £16m, it will have a good outcome. If this is not the case before July 15, he will stay at Lyon."
Tottenham also already have a deal in place for Vertonghen, although the player himself remains in negotiations with Ajax over his fee from any transfer. It is also understood they have firmed up their interest in Oscar, who plays in Brazil at Internacional, with an £11m bid.
A striker is another priority, with a permanent deal still possible for Emmanuel Adebayor. Villas-Boas has returned to the Premier League just four months after being sacked by Chelsea, but his return was welcomed yesterday by Roberto di Matteo, his former assistant, and the man who ultimately succeeded him at Stamford Bridge.
"I wish him the best of luck -- he is a very good manager and coach and I am sure he will be a success," said Di Matteo. "It doesn't surprise me that he has been appointed. It's a good choice." (© Daily Telegraph, London)