Jermain Defoe yesterday stressed his desire to stay at Tottenham Hotspur but the striker is set to face even stronger competition for his place in the team next season. "I'm happy here," Defoe said. "I think we can achieve something special this year so I can't see why I would think about going somewhere else."
However, Spurs are lining up a €15m (£10.7m) bid for Bayer Leverkusen's Dimitar Berbatov. They are one of three Premiership clubs interested in the 25-year-old Bulgarian. Spurs inquired about Berbatov in January but were told that they would have to wait until the summer before the Bundesliga club would listen to offers.
Spurs have failed in attempts to sign a number of target men in the last couple of years including Atletico Madrid's Fernando Torres, Feyenoord's Dirk Kuyt, Udinese's Vincenzo Iaquinta and Cristiano Lucarelli from Livorno.
They remain interested in all those players but realise that their chances of signing one of them, especially Torres or Kuyt, depend on qualifying for European football. They will also have to raise the bids they have previously lodged although Torres, in particular, is understood to be reluctant to move to White Hart Lane despite Spurs' offer of £20m.
Berbatov, who scored a hat-trick against Kaiserslautern at the weekend, has been linked to a move to the Premiership for some time and has interested Liverpool and Arsenal among others. Yesterday his agent, Emil Dantchev, confirmed that Spurs had enquired about his availability during the transfer window.