Spurs face £5m bill to secure Curbishley

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The Independent Football

The Charlton chairman, Richard Murray, told Tottenham yesterday it would cost them £5m to secure the services of the south London club's manager, Alan Curbishley, to replace Glenn Hoddle.

"This must be the 22nd time Alan's been linked with this job or that job," Murray said. "I just think people must be getting bored with it. He ain't going nowhere. I doubt if Spurs can afford him. We have such a contract with Alan that it would cost Spurs about £5m to get him. But why should he want to go to Spurs?"

Speculation has made Curbishley one of the front-runners to replace Hoddle since Tottenham sacked him last Sunday, but the Charlton manager said: "I'm happy at Charlton and have two and a half years left on my contract. I'm quite comfortable with what I'm doing here. I have a good relationship with the chairman and he would tell me if the situation was different. The fans would tell me when I drive into training if it was time to go. There would be a sign and I've not seen it yet."

Away from Spurs-related matters, Curbishley revealed his squad is stretched to the limit seven games into the season. The strikers Carlton Cole and Shaun Bartlett are out through injury, forcing Curbishley to draft Jason Euell onto the bench for Tuesday's Carling Cup home win over Luton.

Hermann Hreidarsson and Richard Rufus are still not fully fit and their return will not come a moment too soon following the team's abject defensive performance against Luton, when Charlton needed a penalty shoot-out to progress to the next round.

"Last night showed how stretched we are," Curbishley said. "I took Chris Powell off because he looked tired and then we struggled at left-back. Matt Holland had to replace Chris for a while, then he filled in at left-back before being switched to right-back. We've brought Chris Perry in from Tottenham but he couldn't play because he's not available for cup matches.

"Shaun Bartlett pulled out last night with a sore calf and I decided to rest Radostin Kishishev. We need to improve our defence before Liverpool on the weekend."

Paolo di Canio's late strike took the match into extra time, which still could not separate the teams as they ended all-square at 4-4. Eventually the outcome was decided by penalties, which Charlton edged 8-7.

"I'm not surprised the home fans booed us off, they had every right to," Curbishley said. "I think the fans have been fantastic, they always have been.

"They haven't seen us win in our last four games in the Premiership, so we haven't given them much to sing about," he admitted.

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