Tottenham Hotspur had still not finalised a deal with Queen's Park Rangers for the defender Michael Dawson last night in the hope that Sunderland and Stoke City could yet drive up the price for a player who has attracted a great deal of interest in the transfer window.
Typically for Spurs at this time of the year, there are a number of key deals that could go either way on players coming in and out and their resolution will play an important part in shaping the squad for next season.
Dawson, inset, will leave the club but the recognition that he is one of their most saleable assets means that the Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, will hold out for the best price.
The 28-year-old England international's most likely destination is QPR, who are also interested in the striker Jermain Defoe, and £9m would represent a great deal for Spurs on a player they signed for £5m from Nottingham Forest seven years ago. Tottenham also have the possibility of signing the Manchester City winger Adam Johnson, who favours a move to Spurs over the two Merseyside clubs or Sunderland.
However, the priority for Spurs is another striker to add to Tuesday's £5m signing of Emmanuel Adebayor. Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas has said that he needs only three strikers because only one can be accommodated at any one time in his 4-3-3 formation, and one of them will be the 19-year-old Harry Kane from the club's academy.
The Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao, of Internacional, is a strong possibility but Spurs have sent representatives to Porto Alegre on more than one occasion in the past and failed. He is rated at between £15m and £20m and the club are still hopeful that a deal can be done for him.
The second imperative is a midfielder with Tom Huddlestone to sign for Stoke on a one-year loan pending medical results. He represents good business for Spurs with a loan fee payable from Stoke but they need to sign a replacement. Scott Parker is out until October with an Achilles problem.
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