Andre Villas-Boas waits for the music to stop at Tottenham as Daniel Levy calls the tune on transfer deals

Tottenham manager sees his squad being rebuilt as chairman ships more players out

Andre Villas-Boas might have thought he had encountered some of the most stubborn figures in English football when he was manager of Chelsea last season, but then he was yet to live through a summer transfer window conducted by Daniel Levy, an experience only available to Tottenham Hotspur managers.

It is the month of August and so it follows that Levy is in the midst of tearing up his Spurs squad and rebuilding it all at the same time, as few other clubs do. Players are coming and going, although no one is certain who and for how much – just that it will probably take until midnight a week on Friday for the whole thing to be resolved, and predicting what the squad looks like on 1 September is a fraught business.

The signing of Emmanuel Adebayor last night on a permanent deal from Manchester City, on a contract subsidised by the selling club, is a triumph that eases some of the pressure when it comes to the lack of strikers. But there is still much work to do.

Levy has acted on the recommendation of his manager to move on two players who were once prime examples of Tottenham's policy of prioritising young English signings. Tom Huddlestone, 25, is on his way to Stoke City on loan. Michael Dawson, 29, will move to Queen's Park Rangers for around £8m.

Both bought by Spurs from Championship clubs in January 2005 at the ages of 18 and 21 respectively, they were emblematic of the club's approach at that time.

It is not to say that Spurs have altogether abandoned that policy. Steven Caulker, 20, called to up to the England squad this month, is highly-rated at the club and now has a place among the squad's four first choice centre-backs with Ledley King's retirement and Dawson's imminent departure.

The Spurs bench on Saturday at St James' Park was well-stocked with English youngsters like Kyle Naughton, Harry Kane and Andros Townsend. Whether any are good enough to break through is another matter.

At the same time, the club is clearing out others once considered young, English and promising – the likes of Jermaine Jenas, David Bentley and, on loan, Danny Rose.

The picture is confused once again, but no one could doubt that Levy is in control. Were he still in the Spurs job, Harry Redknapp would have been complaining at every opportunity in the last few weeks at having just one striker – Jermain Defoe – at his disposal.

As it is, Villas-Boas, grateful for the opportunity to manage Spurs, has no other option but to bite his lip. He can only hope that it all comes together at the last moment. That Levy gets his £40m plus fee from Real Madrid for Luka Modric that he has held out for all summer and that there is time then to buy a new first-choice goalkeeper, a left-back as cover for Benoît Assou-Ekotto, at least one more wide player and a striker.

The Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho is the key man whom Villas-Boas wants but at £20m is simply not an option. So too striker Fernando Llorente, who has a huge buy-out clause in his Athletic Bilbao contract.

There are doubts over the suitability of Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila, off-field questions which have given other Premier League clubs reason to pause too.

Looking at their squad as it stands, with Scott Parker still injured and so many others halfway out the door, it is an intriguing situation. Levy got £3m from Norwich City for Sebastien Bassong yesterday and one can but assume he will hold out right to the bitter end for similarly inflated prices.

Spurs absolutely deny that there is or has ever been any interest in the distinctly average Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh.

Last summer, with the Modric-to-Chelsea row and various other issues hanging over them, Spurs lost their two games in the August transfer window to Manchester United and Manchester City. They might well have done so whatever their status but a draw against both, or one win, would have seem them finish above Arsenal and in the Champions League this season.

As usual, Levy has many plates spinning. At least Spurs had the convenient distraction of chaos at their rivals Arsenal last summer.

This time round you might have thought that they had recognised the season starts with the first fixture, not the close of the transfer window, but this is a club and a chairman who seem to like the adrenaline rush of the last few days.

QPR eye Dawson and Carvalho

Queen's Park Rangers hope to sign Michael Dawson for £8m now he is out of favour at Tottenham – although they fear Spurs may hold out for £10m for the 28-year-old defender – and also retain an interest in the former Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho.

Carvalho, 34, is now fifth in the pecking order of defenders at Real Madrid and, with one year left on his contract, could be available for as little as £2m.


Spurs squad: Comings and goings breakdown

Goalkeepers Friedel, Cudicini

For sale Gomes

Wanted Lloris (Lyon)

What do they need? Ideally a new first choice goalkeeper


Right-backs Walker, Naughton

Left-backs Assou-Ekotto

Available on loan Rose

Centre-backs Vertonghen, Gallas, Kaboul, Caulker

For sale Dawson

Sold Bassong (Norwich)

What do they need? A back-up left-back if Rose is sold


Right wing Lennon, Townsend

Central Sandro, Livermore, Parker (currently injured), Van der Vaart, Sigurdsson, Carroll

Wants out Modric (Real Madrid)

For sale Jenas, Bentley

Available on loan Huddlestone

Left-wing Bale

What do they need? Light on both wings beyond first choice Bale and Lennon. Lacking spark in central midfield with Modric going and Parker injured


Strikers Adebayor), Defoe, Kane

Please take him Dos Santos

What do they need? At least two more strikers of good quality


Get Adobe Flash player



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

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn