Tottenham Hotspur's attempts to drive business on the final day of the summer transfer window ended in frustration for manager Harry Redknapp yesterday with Aston Villa – the summer's second-highest spenders in the final reckoning – demonstrating their own determination to remain a force.
Redknapp secured the signature of Niko Kranjcar from Portsmouth for £2m, to bolster a midfield without the player's Croatian compatriot Luka Modric in the side for at least six weeks with a fractured fibula. But Kranjcar was by no means Rednapp's prime target for deadline day, during which the Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, vetoed a loan swap which would have seen David Bentley destined for Manchester City and a reunion with his old manager Mark Hughes, while City's own unsettled left-winger Martin Petrov would have headed to White Hart Lane.
Tottenham have spent heavily in the past three months – £29.5m makes theirs the fifth-highest outlay in another summer of colossal spending in which the £477m total was second only to last summer in British football history. Levy had his limits, though. He nurtured a conviction that Petrov, a 30-year-old who has relatively recently recovered from a serious knee injury sustained playing for Bulgaria last October and commands £70,000 a week at City, was an expensive risk. Though Redknapp hoped the departure of Bentley the other way might smooth the way for the Bulgarian, Levy insisted any deal on a player for whom he had laid out £15m to Blackburn only 12 months ago had to be worth £10m and permanent. City manager Mark Hughes was notionally interested in the idea of reuniting Bentley and Roque Santa Cruz at Eastlands, but Levy's demand was dismissed by City early into deadline day.
Villa had a tense day of their own but appeared to be close to securing the £6m deal to sign Richard Dunne as a badly needed replacement for Martin Laursen, who retired at the end of last season, taking the club's spending to around £41.5m – second only to Manchester City's. Liverpool's outlay was the third-highest and Sunderland's the fourth. Manchester United and Arsenal refused to pay inflated prices. Chelsea could not lure the players they were prepared to pay big for.
While Spurs, as expected, could not persuade Portsmouth to take their reserve keeper Carlo Cudicini in exchange for England goalkeeper David James, Martin O'Neill also recruited James Collins from West Ham to bolster his defence for a figure of £5m on a four-year deal.
Everton, another club desperate to meet the challenge presented by relative big spenders such as Tottenham and Villa, will do so with only one of the two reinforcements manager David Moyes had sought, though the arrival of Dutch defender Johnny Heitinga to take Joleon Lescott's No 5 jersey after a tense 48 hours of talks did provide Moyes with some solace.
Heitinga arrived for a sum of £6m, rising to £7m on a five-year deal. Everton had anticipated the player's La Liga salary being a possible impediment but when some creative financial work enabled the club to offer him enough without breaking the current pay structure, the Dutch international did not seem certain that he wanted the move. But Moyes and chairman Bill Kenwright were persistent, and Heitinga was flown by private jet into Merseyside for a medical and to discuss terms. Heitinga's move partly compensates for Valencia changing their mind and blocking a loan move for Argentine winger Ever Banega.
Deadline day demonstrated the vast distance between the spending power of the two Arab-owned sides in the Premier League. Portsmouth shipped out yet another player, David Nugent heading to Burnley on loan, while their manager Paul Hart did what he could to strengthen, but the arrivals of Benfica midfielder Hassan Yebda on loan and defender Mike Williamson for £3m from Watford looked like the deals of a side facing a relegation struggle.
Steve Bruce spent the day trimming his Sunderland squad after a summer of major spending. Danny Collins joined Stoke for £2.75m, Carlos Edwards and Grant Leadbitter being reunited with Roy Keane at Ipswich for a combined £3.9m while Teemu Tainio has moved to Birmingham.
At Fulham injuries led Roy Hodgson to bring in Swedish forward David Elm from Kalmar for £500,000.Reuse content