Spurs opt for youth in pursuit of Gunter

In a clear sign that they intend to continue with their controversial policy of only buying up promising young talent, Tottenham Hotspur hope to sign Cardiff City's 18-year-old defender Chris Gunter in the January transfer window.

Gunter, who is already a full Welsh international, is an exciting prospect and the Championship club have already rejected two bids from Everton, made last summer. Spurs are likely to face competition from Fulham for Gunter's signature although Cardiff will try to drive a hard bargain.

Fulham are also one of three Premier League clubs monitoring another Welsh prospect, the Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.

Cardiff will not prevent Gunter, who plays mainly as a right-back, from leaving. Spurs will propose structuring a deal similar to the one that took another promising Welsh defender, Gareth Bale, also 18, from Southampton with cash up front and the rest dependent upon his progress and appearances. No price has yet been discussed although Gunter will cost at least 3m, with Cardiff hoping to realise far more.

The January transfer window is set to be a critical time for Spurs, their new head coach, Juande Ramos, and their sporting director, Damien Comolli, in particular. A number of Comolli's signings have failed to impress with Younes Kaboul, the French under-21 international defender who cost 8.2m from Auxerre, hauled off at half-time during the weekend defeat at home to Birmingham City.

Before that match Ramos had stated that only "desperate clubs" buy in the January window but, with Spurs only a point above the relegation places, it seems they now fall into that category. With Ledley King only just returning from long-term injury the need is for a dominant central defender to play alongside Michael Dawson.

Spurs scouts have been attending Espanyol's recent matches, which has led to the belief that they are tracking the 24-year-old central defender Daniel Jarque. It is also possible, however, that Spurs are considering a move for another Espanyol player, the former Manchester City left-winger Albert Riera who has been in impressive form since his return to Spain. Spurs will also be aware that the experienced Portuguese defender Fernando Meira is keen to leave Hamburg and would like to move to the Premier League.

The absence of an experienced defender, and the obsession with only buying young players, was a source of bitter regret for Ramos' predecessor Martin Jol especially as his attempts to sign Sylvain Distin, who subsequently moved to Portsmouth, were vetoed on the grounds that the Frenchman is 29 years old.

In a foreword to a new book about his time at Spurs, Jol questioned the policy that has been enthusiastically followed by Comolli. "Youngsters cannot do it on their own, they need help," Jol wrote.

King, who had knee surgery during the summer, played his first game for six months on Tuesday, completing the first half in a reserve team game against Fulham as did Ricardo Rocha who has also been out injured.

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

Arts and Entertainment
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Travel
travel
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes