Spurs consider Rossi bid after Bent windfall

Tottenham look at £16.5m former United striker as Sunderland target Crouch

Tottenham Hotspur are weighing up the possibility of a move for the former Manchester United striker Giuseppe Rossi, having finally been paid the full £16.5m they were owed from Sunderland for Darren Bent.

Rossi, 23, now established as one of the best strikers in the Spanish league at Villarreal, is on Spurs' list of possible new players after they turned down the opportunity to sign Ajax's Luis Suarez, now a target for Liverpool. Rossi's contract expires in the summer of next year and he has attracted much interest in Spain and Italy this season.

The transfer of Bent to Aston Villa has caused movement throughout the transfer market, with Sunderland now making serious inquiries about Peter Crouch at Spurs. While Tottenham's manager, Harry Redknapp, does not want to sell the England international, that still very much depends this month on what kind of offer Sunderland would be prepared to make.

At a fee of £15m-£20m, Rossi would be among Spurs' most expensive acquisitions, but he would fit their model of buying good, young players at competitive prices and has been scouted for some time. He has formed one of the best forward partnerships in Spain with the Brazil international Nilmar and has scored nine goals already this season.

Born in the US, Rossi is now one of Italy's first-choice strikers after being left out of last summer's World Cup final squad by Marcello Lippi. He was highly rated by Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, who signed him as a teenager from Parma, but was permitted to leave in August 2007. There have been suggestions that Ferguson has an option to re-sign him.

The usual resistance to competing for the biggest players has relaxed a little at Spurs in the last 12 months. The chairman, Daniel Levy, made serious inquiries about the Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko before he joined Manchester City and there is a long-standing interest in Andy Carroll of Newcastle that is likely to be pursued again in the summer.

Spurs will have to make big decisions on both Crouch and Jermain Defoe in the summer – both will then have two years remaining on their contracts and it is not inconceivable that one or both might be sold.

Steve Bruce, the Sunderland manager, attempted to sign Crouch, who turns 30 this month, when he joined Spurs in August 2009 and is a long-term admirer of the player. While there is no desire on Crouch's part to leave Tottenham, the security of a long-term deal for any player in his thirties can be persuasive. However, as an important part of Redknapp's Champions League run he would be very difficult to replace at this late stage of the transfer window.

The Sunderland chairman, Niall Quinn, hinted at their interest in a player like Crouch when he said that Bruce's side needed a "physical presence", in response to questions about whether they would be signing Robbie Keane, who has been made available by Spurs.

Quinn said: "What we are looking for to help Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck along is probably a physical presence. Robbie works well off a big physical player, but we don't have that now. Robbie doesn't quite suit us now."

Other alternatives for Sunderland include the Monaco striker Dieumerci Mbokani and Cardiff's Jay Bothroyd. Quinn echoed Bruce's comments that the club felt Bent had been less committed in recent weeks, which prompted suspicion that he knew he was leaving for Aston Villa. Quinn said: "Two or three weeks ago maybe, I went into the training ground and there was something up with him. I looked at his demeanour and I thought, 'It's not right'. Having been in the game, you kind of know when someone's got something going on in their heads. It transpired that that's what had happened. They were setting him up to try and come and he took the bait."

Earlier yesterday, Villa issued a rebuttal to Bruce's allegations that Bent had been tapped up and had his head turned long before Tuesday's move to Villa Park went through. Villa accused Bruce of trying to "besmirch the reputation" of Villa and Bent, and denied that they had made "an inappropriate approach to the player or unfairly [compromised] the business of Sunderland football club".

Villa said in the statement: "Darren only became aware of his possible transfer AFTER [sic] Sunderland's game against Newcastle on Sunday and AFTER we had agreed with Sunderland the essence of the deal which led quickly to Darren's arrival at Villa Park on Tuesday."

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
and  

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

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable