Football: Graham delays player search

GEORGE GRAHAM will have to pay up to pounds 8m if he wants to sign the Blackburn striker Chris Sutton, and the new Tottenham manager may feel it is too high a price to pay to unsettle Chris Armstrong, Les Ferdinand and Steffen Iversen.

The three players are currently competing for two front-line positions at White Hart Lane and the early evidence is that the rivalry is paying dividends for Spurs.

Graham is still an admirer of Sutton, who he tried to sign for Arsenal from Norwich four years ago, but lost out to Blackburn. Rovers paid pounds 5m for Sutton and made him one of the best-paid players in the Premiership but now could be tempted to sell if they sign the Coventry striker Dion Dublin.

However, Graham has indicated he is prepared to delay any move into the transfer market until all his current squad have been given the chance to fully demonstrate their abilities. Midfield and defence are believed to be the key areas Graham will address first but he said: "I'm delighted with the response I've had from all the players in the few weeks I've been here.

"It seems obvious that we will eventually have to add to the squad, because Spurs only just avoided relegation last season and it is the same players still here.

"But there is not much top quality available on the market at the moment wherever you look and until the right player crops up I will work with the players we have here and get the best out of them."

David Pleat, Tottenham's director of football, tried to sign the midfielder Tim Sherwood from Blackburn before Graham arrived at Spurs from Leeds and there was speculation then that Sutton was also a transfer target. However, Spurs' pounds 3m bid for Sherwood was rejected by the Rovers manager, Roy Hodgson.

Pleat said yesterday: "Since then there has been no further contact with Blackburn and Sutton's name has never featured in our negotiations."

Tottenham showed the spirit and character Graham demands with a 3-1 win at Northampton on Tuesday night in the Worthington Cup when the slippery, rain-sodden conditions presented just as much of a test for them as the Second Division side.

Graham was saved a selection dilemma by Ferdinand's unavailability with an ankle injury and Armstrong scored twice, in partnership with Iversen, to ease Spurs' passage through to the last 16 after Sean Parrish opened the scoring for Northampton.

Iversen had a quiet game but the former Rosenborg striker has already scored three times this season as a substitute, including both goals in last Saturday's 2-0 win over Newcastle, and Graham has predicted a secure future for him at White Hart Lane.

If Sutton arrived at Spurs it would be seen as a setback for Armstrong, who believes he is back near his best form this season after nearly two years battling against an ankle injury which took three operations to repair.

He said: "Last season I came back and had a few games but in the end it was obvious I was playing without being properly fit.

"In the last few games, though, I have felt a lot sharper and I'm confident that, finally, I'm getting very close to 100 per cent again. All I want to do now is keep my place with Spurs and put the injury situation behind me."

David Ginola, who many believed would not fit into Graham's plans for Tottenham because of his flamboyant temperament, again showed at Northampton that he can produce outstanding skill, even in the worst conditions. But he is out of Tottenham's next match, at home to Charlton on Monday, when he will serve a one-match suspension after being booked five times this season. That total rose to six when he was shown another yellow card in Saturday's win over Newcastle.

Sport
world cup 2014
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
books
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
filmSir Ian McKellen will play retired detective in new film
Life and Style
tech
News
Justin Bieber performing in Paris earlier this year
people
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager

£36000 - £38000 per annum: Charter Selection: Charter Selection are working wi...

Accounts Assistant, Hammersmith

£25000 per annum: Charter Selection: Exciting sports company with a strong bra...

Financial Accountant-IFRS-Gloucester-£300/day

£250 - £295 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Financial Accountant - IFRS - Glouc...

Technical Support Engineer - Central London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Central London...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil