By Greg Stobart
It was a long, almost painful process but Tottenham have finally completed the signing of Emmanuel Adebayor on a permanent transfer after the striker reached a settlement with Manchester City.
The £4 million deal, announced on Tuesday, took nearly two months longer than Spurs expected and was not completed in time for the start of the season, but the club’s manager Andre Villas-Boas will hope that it signals the start of a flurry of activity at White Hart Lane.
If there is one guarantee in a summer transfer window, it is that Tottenham will be scrambling around at the end of August, with the complexion of the Londoners' squad unclear until the final chime of the clock on August 31.
The biggest and most expensive transfer in to White Hart Lane this summer could be the replacement for Luka Modric
Villas-Boas has now experienced first-hand the frustrations of working under Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, the same frustrations that Harry Redknapp could barely hide as the relationship between the pair reached breaking point.
Levy feels that he acts in the club's best interests, but the lesson never gets learned: The season starts in mid-August, not on September 1.
In any case, the plates are now spinning as Villas-Boas attempts to make his mark on the squad, taking bold decisions as he looks for a squad that can compete for a top four finish and a place in next season's Champions League.
Adebayor's arrival was the most necessary move of the summer given that Jermain Defoe has been the club's only recognised striker and is not suited to the lone striker role preferred by Villas-Boas.
The former Arsenal man, who scored 17 league goals and provided 11 assists while on loan at Spurs last season, will not be the only forward to arrive at the club this summer.
While the dream signing might be Fernando Llorente of Athletic Bilbao, the €36m [£28.3m] buyout clause in the Spain striker's contract means that deal will probably be out of Spurs' reach, given that they are not in the Champions League.
They are instead concentrating on pushing hard to finally tie up their pursuit of Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao, which stretches back more than a year.
Representatives have been sent to Brazil to make a final offer for the 22-year-old in a bid to conclude a deal that has been incredibly difficult due to the ever-changing demands of his club, Internacional, and the number of people with economic interests in the transfer.
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Spurs know full well that, whether now or next summer, they need a new goalkeeper to replace 41-year-old Brad Friedel, who is surely in the final year of his career. Hugo Lloris, the Lyon and France No. 1, has been identified as the top target but Levy has so far been unwilling to meet the French club's £15m asking price.
And the biggest and most expensive transfer in to White Hart Lane this summer could be the replacement for Real Madrid-bound Luka Modric. Fulham’s Moussa Dembele is admired but the man Villas-Boas really wants is Porto playmaker Joao Moutinho, who is currently valued at £30m by his club.
Moutinho is very interested in a move to White Hart Lane but Spurs have made it clear during talks that Porto’s valuation - and they are notoriously tough negotiators - would have to drop significantly.
For a team that finished fourth in the Premier League last season and spent most of the campaign in third, it is one heck of a makeover.
Michael Dawson, one of the most consistent and popular players at the club, is likely to be sold after falling to fifth in the pecking order of central defenders behind Younes Kaboul, William Gallas, Jan Vertonghen and Steven Caulker.
Stoke have opened talks over a move for the England international but QPR seem the most likely destination, with the west London club close to agreeing a deal worth around £10m for the 28-year-old.
Tom Huddlestone will not be given the opportunity to show that he can replace Modric as the creative fulcrum of the Spurs midfield. Instead, he will leave on loan, probably to Stoke, to improve his sharpness and mobility following a series of ankle problems.
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Sebastien Bassong has joined Norwich for £3m, Giovani dos Santos is for sale, as are Jermaine Jenas and David Bentley, with Danny Rose set to leave on loan, probably to Sunderland.
It is an awful lot of activity to sort out before the window closes next Friday, a period of nine days that could make or break Tottenham's season. Levy and Villas-Boas have finally got the wheels in motion by signing Adebayor, but they need to get the rest right and fast.
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