Despite releasing William Gallas and selling Steven Caulker to Cardiff City, Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas has said he doubts the club will buy a central defender before the close of the transfer window on 2 September, saying he has enough options in his squad.
Currently Villas-Boas has Jan Vertonghen, Michael Dawson and Younes Kaboul as his options at centre-back, although Zeki Fryers, 20, and Kyle Naughton, 24, are in his plans. Recent signing, the defensive midfielder Etienne Capoue, a £9m signing from Toulouse, can also fill in in defence.
"We have options in defence," Villas-Boas said. "We still have [Kyle] Naughton, we have [Younes] Kaboul coming back, we have Zeki Fryers, who did very well in pre-season.
“I think we are covered. We might buy but we haven't decided yet, bearing in mind Fryers' progression.”
Fryers has yet to play a competitive game for Tottenham after signing from Standard Liege in January in a transfer which was mired in controversy, after Spurs had attempted to sign Fryers directly from Manchester United in the previous transfer window. He then joined Liege for a small compensation fee, and Tottenham purchased the player from Liege for £3m five months later. The then-United manager Sir Alex Ferguson questioned whether the transfer had been pre-planned.
“I’m disappointed in Tottenham, I really am,” he had said. “I think it’s a blatant manipulation of the situation. They tried to buy him at the end of last season and we couldn’t agree terms.”
“They took him on trial and to Portugal with the Tottenham squad and came back and said they couldn’t afford him. All of a sudden he signs for Standard Liege and when I heard that I expected him to go to Tottenham in January.
“The Premier League should stop the registration until they examine it. There will be a trail, mobile phones (records) or something. It’s obvious to me.”
It is understood no rules were broken and United did not make a formal complaint.
Spurs have already spent close to £60m this summer, after deals for Roberto Soldado (£26m), Paulinho (£17m), Capoue (£9m), and Nacer Chadli (£7m).