We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


Huntelaar fee puts Tottenham off

Ajax's asking price for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is thought to be an obstacle if Tottenham pursue a deal for the Holland striker to join Roman Pavlyuchenko as a White Hart Lane arrival.

Russia striker Pavlyuchenko has agreed to join Spurs and is waiting for the formalities of the transfer to be completed, with Spartak Moscow expecting the deal to finalised in the next 24 hours.

With Spurs still in the hunt for players before the end of the transfer window, the prospect of Huntelaar has been raised but Ajax are expected to demand upwards of £20m for the player who has been linked with Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Spurs have also been looking at defenders and were close to a deal for Vedran Corluka earlier in the summer before a move collapsed and the Croatia international stayed at Manchester City.

It was in attack, however, were head coach Juande Ramos desperately needed reinforcements after Robbie Keane's departure to Liverpool and Dimitar Berbatov's transfer request in pursuit of a move to Manchester United.

Ramos was interested in Andrei Arshavin - Pavlyuchenko's Russia team-mate - but Spurs did not meet Zenit St Petersburg's valuation and moved to other targets.

Pavlyuchenko, as an out-and-out striker, offers a different type of threat to Arshavin.

The 26-year-old may have contributed to England's downfall last year in Moscow but it has not been all smooth running since - he was ordered to lose weight by Russia boss Guus Hiddink ahead of Euro 2008 before scoring three goals at the tournament.

He will be subject to Ramos' strict regime that has appeared to be undermined in the opening weeks of the season by Berbatov's demand to move.

After defeats to Middlesbrough and Sunderland, it does not get any easier - they face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Ramos said: "At the moment we owe something to our fans, but we can and we must give a lot more and that's what we are working on.

"I have no doubt in my mind that Tottenham are capable of beating any team, and on Sunday we are going for the three points.

"Chelsea are a great team but we also have a very solid base; the lads are working well and we have to forget about our anxieties and simply do what we have shown we are all capable of doing, footballers and coaching staff alike."

Berbatov was accused of being a negative influence on the dressing room before he was dropped from the squad to face Sunderland, with assistant boss Gus Poyet now determined to focus on "not being negative" this week.

"We didn't deserve to win but we were in shape to win in both games," said Poyet.

"We didn't, but we don't have to panic. Nothing changes because the quality is still here although obviously it's not a good situation.

"We now need to focus on Chelsea and this week has been about reinforcing the positive things and not being negative."

Meanwhile, left-back Lee Young-Pyo is to join German side Borussia Dortmund from Spurs.

Dortmund have confirmed the deal, stating the 31-year-old has signed a one-year contract with them.