Although Harry Redknapp insists that he is "not desperate" for any additions to his squad this month, the Tottenham manager is interested in Bolton's Gary Cahill, the Blackburn pair Christopher Samba and Junior Hoilett and the Marseilles forward Loïc Rémy.
Tottenham go into tonight's home game with Everton knowing that a win will draw them level on points with second-placed Manchester United. Their form is sufficiently good that Redknapp is not keen on mass reinforcements, but would like to improve his squad with quality players.
Spurs, he feels, already have too many good players on the fringe of the first team. "To bring someone in and say 'He's not going to play' is difficult," Redknapp admitted. "Good players like Niko [Kranjcar] – he's not in the team. He's too good really. [Steven] Pienaar is a good player. I go to watch Everton play and every supporter is saying 'Harry, can we have Pienaar back?'
"To bring in another squad player would be a waste of time for us. It is about getting the right people. There are one or two out there you know will improve your club."
That commitment to quality has prompted Redknapp's interest in two Premier League centre-backs. Cahill has six months left on his contract with Bolton, and is currently talking to Chelsea. "I've tried to sign him so many times," Redknapp said. "He's a good player and he's not expensive in all honesty."
Samba is also admired at Spurs. "Good player, interesting player," Redknapp said. "Like Cahill – they're two top centre-halves and I'm sure there will be plenty of interest in the window. They'd strengthen your team but we've got plenty of centre-backs so at the moment we look OK there."
The arrival of Mark Hughes, who brought Samba to Blackburn from Hertha Berlin five years ago, at Queen's Park Rangers, might mean competition for his signature. "You can see QPR going for Samba now," Redknapp said. "But if Tottenham wanted him we would have a big chance." Samba's Blackburn team-mate Hoilett was also described as "interesting".
And the Marseilles forward Rémy? "He's a good young player who can play through the middle," the Spurs manager said. "We could have had him a couple of years back. There's interest there but nothing more than that. It depends how much he is. We're not close to doing anything with him."
Tonight's game was initially scheduled for last August but was postponed due to the riots in Tottenham. Additions at the end of the summer transfer window have put Spurs in a much stronger position, so Redknapp said the postponement "might have been a blessing".
"I just felt if we could get Scott Parker in and [Emmanuel] Adebayor on loan that would make a difference," Redknapp recalled of his feelings in the summer. "We were one or two players short and we had the situation with Luka [Modric]. There was a feeling around the club that it was a difficult period, that first couple of weeks. But once we got that out of the way with the international break, we were up and running."
After the September internationals, Spurs won 10 of their next 11 League games. "The belief and the arrival of a couple of players made a difference to everybody," Redknapp explained. "Scott Parker was a no-brainer. You knew what you were getting: a fantastic boy, a top-class professional, you could not go wrong. Adebayor has come in and surprised everyone, his attitude has been first-class."
Parker, unfortunately for Spurs, is "very doubtful" with a knee injury. Jake Livermore is likely to deputise. Michael Dawson should continue at centre-back alongside Younes Kaboul.Reuse content