Everton angry as Spurs snatch defensive duo
Friday 17 July 2009
Tottenham Hotspur have beaten Everton to the signing of both Kyle Naughton and Kyle Walker from Sheffield United. The two right-backs will join Spurs this month in a deal worth a total of £8m, despite Naughton having been a long-term target for David Moyes.
The two players represent Harry Redknapp's first major success in the transfer market this summer – he is also pursuing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Patrick Vieira – but the deal has left Everton angry. The club had been given permission by Sheffield United to agree personal terms with Naughton, 20, but that was withdrawn when Spurs offered a lump sum for both players and they have offered the option of loaning Walker, 19, back to Sheffield United for next season.
There have been raised eyebrows in the game as to why Tottenham would need two right-backs when they already have the Wales international Chris Gunter at the club. Gunter, a promising 19-year-old who was bought from Cardiff City in January last year, is now expected to join Nottingham Forest, where he impressed on loan last season.
Spurs believe the decision to sign both is justified because Naughton can play at left-back, but in reality he was only deployed there last season because of injuries at Sheffield United. He is expected to figure prominently in the first-team squad next season as Alan Hutton and Pascal Chimbonda will both leave if deals can be done.
Spurs are confident that there is no interest in Huntelaar from Arsenal, whose priority is Marouane Chamakh at Bordeaux. Huntelaar, who joined Real Madrid for £19m in January, is available but Spurs will have to put together a competitive pay package as they are in competition with Stuttgart, who are in the Champions League next season. Spurs are still waiting to learn whether Internazionale will allow Vieira to leave on a free transfer.
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