Record fee for Bentley stretches Tottenham in pursuit of Arshavin

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The Independent Online

David Bentley will be presented as a Tottenham player this morning having completed his protracted departure from Blackburn yesterday for a fee of around £17m, but the club are less optimistic about signing the Russian international Andrei Arshavin.

Having broken their transfer record for the third time in little more than a year with the signings of Darren Bent, Luka Modric and now Bentley, Spurs are finding it difficult to stretch to the demands of Zenit St Petersburg for the £20m-plus required for Arshavin. It is a similar situation with his Russia team-mate Roman Pavlyuchenko, of Spartak Moscow. Spurs have found it difficult to cut through the complexities of dealing with Russian clubs.

Bentley's arrival means a surfeit of attacking midfield players at the club but precious few who could call themselves natural goalscorers with Robbie Keane's departure and Dimitar Berbatov's impending move to Manchester United. Spurs are struggling to identify targets in Europe and beyond – in the transfer market this summer, recognised goalscorers appear to be at a premium.

Spurs also signed new deals with the midfielder Jermaine Jenas and the defender Michael Dawson, which will keep those two Englishmen contracted to the club until 2013.

Spurs new Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes has said that he has no fears about replacing the popular Paul Robinson at White Hart Lane. The 27-year-old, nicknamed "The Octopus", said: "When I played at Cruzeiro [in Brazil] I replaced [national team goalkeeper] Dida and was happy to do it. Then I did it at PSV [Eindhoven] when I replaced Ronald Waterreus, a goalkeeper who was there for 10 years. He was very popular, then I became an idol. So my thinking is to just play well."

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