By Tom Bellwood
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has dealt Spurs fans a blow by declaring the club will not be splashing the cash during the January transfer window, despite the club battling on two fronts for major honours.
However, there was good news as Levy warned off Gareth Bale’s potential suitors by insisting the Welsh winger is not for sale – at any price.
The north London club enter the New Year in fine form, sitting just seven points off the pace at the top of the table and through to the knockout phase of the Champions League having qualified as group winners ahead of holders Inter.
But the north London club are dealing with long-term injuries to Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate, along with an extended absence for Tom Huddlestone, and fans had been hoping to see the squad bolstered.
Levy refuted the claim that Spurs are a selling club, but offered little hope of new faces arriving in January.
“The January transfer window is again upon us," Levy said at the club's AGM. "We currently have the largest squad in the Premier League.
“We shall look to rationalise… Overall, we do not anticipate a busy transfer window.”
However, good news came in the form a forthright defence of the club’s selling policy and a no-nonsense reply to suggestion that Bale could be leaving in the summer.
The Wales international has been linked with a number of Europe’s football elite following his stunning displays in domestic and European competition but Levy rubbished claims Bale’s departure was inevitable.
Levy said: “I’ve never deemed us to be a selling club, if you look at the big transfers which have taken place since I’ve been chairman.
“Both Berbatov and Michael Carrick had two years left on their contract, both players wanted to go and that was the reason they were sold.
“But in the case of Gareth he’s got a long contract and I can assure you he will not be sold.”
Boss Harry Redknapp has transformed the club from relegation fodder into genuine contenders for Europe’s top prize.
But there was, however, no denial that if England came knocking for boss Redknapp, the club could stop their manager from walking away.
“Harry is on a long-term contract. If and when they contact us we will have to deal with it accordingly,” said the chairman.
Inevitably, the situation surrounding the development of the current site in Tottenham or the Olympic stadium in Stratford, but the board remained tight-lipped about which plan they favoured.
Levy denied he and the club have ignored the sentiments of the fans, dismissing the claim that the vast majority are dead set against a move to east London.
And he reiterated just how crucial selling the naming rights to any potential new stadium is to the whole process, be it at White Hart Lane or in Stratford.
He said: “I'm a fan, I have lots of friends who are fans and I have lots of interaction with fans everyday.
“I do talk to people and have feedback so without any surveys I can tell you I have a pretty good feel as to what the mood is.
“But as far as funding a project of this size it will be a substantial naming rights transaction.
That’s what’s happened in America and for any of the new stadia recently built in this country.”