Harry Redknapp has convinced the Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, to back him with more money this month to make major changes to the Spurs team that is now fighting relegation. The Wigan midfielder Wilson Palacios is among Redknapp's priorities now that the Spurs manager has decided that some of the key players in the squad are not in his long-term plans.
In keeping with Levy's policy on transfers, he would rather offer player swaps rather than cash in deals. However, the club are well aware that it would be virtually impossible to persuade Jermaine Jenas, who has been named as a potential makeweight in a deal for Palacios, to move to Wigan. Jenas, who was part of Fabio Capello's England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Belarus in October, has not proved central to Redknapp's plans and he featured only as a late substitute in the defeat at Wigan on Sunday.
Palacios, 24, a Honduran international who has developed impressively under Steve Bruce's management at Birmingham City and Wigan, is exactly the kind of combative midfielder Redknapp is looking for. However, he has been valued at around £10m by Bruce, who was alerted to his quality by Arsène Wenger. Redknapp had been encouraged to go for Palacios when he was still in the market to buy Stewart Downing.
Redknapp met Levy yesterday to discuss their targets for the month after Spurs slipped into the bottom three following their last-minute defeat to Wigan. The Tottenham chairman is minded to back his manager now, having first said in October that he would be reluctant to spend money when the club presented their annual financial results.
It would be against Levy's usually careful instincts to buy players at a premium in the transfer window but the fact that Spurs have slipped back into the relegation zone has offered him no option. He has all but given up on Craig Bellamy who, despite a preference for Spurs, looks certain to join Manchester City this month. Nevertheless, it would appear that the £15.5m spent bringing Jermain Defoe back to White Hart Lane will not be the end of Spurs' spending.
Another major concern for Redknapp is his goalkeeping position. Heurelho Gomes (below) picked up a an injury in Sunday's game but Redknapp still resisted bringing on the reserve goalkeeper Cesar Sanchez in his place. That is because there are great reservations about Sanchez, brought in by Spurs' former director of football Damien Comolli, among Redknapp's staff – chief among them that the 36-year-old is not big enough for the Premier League. Ben Alnwick, recalled from his loan at Carlisle, is yet to start a first-team game for Spurs.
Redknapp has become increasingly disgruntled with his squad, claiming after the defeat to Wigan that only Michael Dawson, Jonathan Woodgate, Didier Zokora and Jamie O'Hara had demonstrated the requisite determination to win the match. Dawson said yesterday that he had recovered from a blow to his head in the last 10 minutes of Sunday's match.
Dawson said: "To concede so late was devastating. We have to pick ourselves up and we have to stand up and be counted. You could see the disappointment in the dressing room. The sooner the next game comes around the better because it gives us the chance to put it right. It's down to us."