Spurs clinch Mido deal

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The Independent Football

Tottenham Hotspur have beaten off competition from Southampton to sign the Roma striker Mido. The Egyptian - whose full name is Ahmed Hossam Mido - will move to White Hart Lane on loan for the rest of the season with a view to a permanent deal.

"The deal will be confirmed in the next few hours, but the contract hasn't been signed yet," Mido said yesterday. Although only 21, Mido has already played for five clubs including Ajax , scoring 21 times in 40 appearances, and Marseilles - from where he was sold to Roma last summer for £3.9m. He also held talks with Southampton at that time and, again, this month.

Although undoubtedly talented, Mido has, at times, fallen out with previous clubs as well as the coach of his national team. However, he feels he never really was given the opportunity to impress at Roma.

Spurs have been looking for a fourth striker and created room for Mido's transfer by sending Edson Silva to Hearts on trial. The 21-year-old Portuguese striker, who joined from PSV Eindhoven on a one-year contract last summer, has failed to break into the first-team.

Tottenham will deny that the signing of Mido will increase the chances of either Jermain Defoe or Frédéric Kanouté departing. Both have attracted interest with Defoe - being monitored by Chelsea - set to open negotiations over an improved contract to the deal he signed last January.

Spurs are also looking to push through the signing of Crystal Palace's Wayne Routledge before the weekend. Talks were held on Tuesday evening, between Palace's director of football, Bob Dowie, and Spurs' sporting director, Frank Arnesen, after the two sides met in a reserve fixture.

An initial offer of £1.5m has been mooted for the 20-year-old and although that is half the amount Spurs offered last summer the 20-year-old has refused to sign a new contract at Selhurst Park and will be a free agent this summer. However Palace's manager, Iain Dowie, insisted yesterday that the offer was too low. "It is not a goer," he said. "He wants to leave the club and we have a view of what the tribunal fee would be. Also, we're trying to stay up and we know what he can bring to us. We've got to add all this up and it's not easy."

If Palace hold on until the summer they will receive compensation for Routledge as they developed the player. Indeed they could expect not far short of Spurs' current offer and will cite the £2m Sunderland received from Manchester United for David Bellion.

If, however, Spurs - or Birmingham City or Everton, who are also monitoring the situation - raise their offer to around £2m or more it will leave Dowie with a dilemma. "When I am in charge of all the facts, and there is nothing concrete yet, I will sit down and make a decision," he said. "There have been some preliminary discussions, Spurs have declared an interest in the player."

Palace are also holding discussions with the representatives of the Portsmouth midfielder Eyal Berkovic who will be allowed to leave Fratton Park, and are still considering signing the Dynamo Moscow striker Dmitri Bulykin, who has been on trial.

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