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Spurs chase Chinese and Qatari funding in a bid to kick-start the Northumberland Development Project, while West Ham work to avoid a David Bentley repeat with Yossi Benayoun

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TIDYING UP ALL THE LOOSE STORIES IN FOOTBALL THIS WEEK


NEW SPURS STADIUM CONSTRUCTION ON TARGET
 
Tottenham are on course to start construction of their proposed new stadium next summer with work set to begin on the supermarket and office elements of the £430 million project in the next month.

Spurs announced this week that McLaren Construction had been appointed as the main contractor for the first stage of the development - including a Sainsburys superstore - with the tender for the stadium and public space set to go out before the end of the year.

While the north London club are still working on how to finance the development, they are working closely with Haringey council on a timetable that is likely to see Spurs move into the new stadium, adjacent to White Hart Lane, for the start of the 2016-17 season.

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The key to getting the Northumberland Development Project (NDP) underway will be whether Tottenham can secure a 10 or 15-year naming rights deal worth more than £150m, with Qatar Airways and companies from China believed to have expressed the most interest.

After publicly admitting defeat in the club’s bid to take over the Olympic Stadium, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy explained that the club would put all their efforts into funding the new ground, with White Hart Lane currently holding just 36,000 supporters. Naming rights for the stadium will be a crucial part of the funding package.

Joe Lewis, the ultra-secretive billionaire who, ultimately, owns Tottenham, was in London earlier this month, with funding for the state-of-the-art stadium the primary reason for his visit as he held talks with Levy.

Plans for an Olympic Way-style ‘stadium approach’ to the NDP from White Hart Lane are also expected to be approved before the New Year.

Tottenham reached a £27m funding agreement with the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson (£18m), and Haringey council (£9m) earlier this year for public realm works to support the infrastructure around the proposed 56,000-seater stadium.

- Greg Stobart | Correspondent


RAMSEY CENTRAL TO SPURS APPOINTING VILLAS-BOAS

Chris Ramsey does not have a prominent public profile but the long-serving Tottenham Academy chief is an influential figure at White Hart Lane.

The Sweeper has learned that the former defender, who has been Head of Player Development at the club for eight years, played a key role in recruiting Andre Villas-Boas during the summer.

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Ramsey and Villas-Boas were already on good terms and the former Brighton & Hove Albion right-back brokered the initial contact between the club and the Portuguese when they began the process of finding a successor to the sacked Harry Redknapp.

Ramsey was also present at Villas-Boas’ first meetings with the Londoners and is believed to have provided vocal support for the 34-year-old to senior club officials.

- Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent


WEST HAM PROTECT THEMSELVES IF BENAYOUN BREAKS DOWN 

Having had their fingers burned by David Bentley’s disastrous loan spell last season, West Ham have been careful to protect themselves in the case of Yossi Benayoun.

The east Londoners signed Bentley so late in the August 2011 transfer window that they did not have time to give him a medical and then had to continue paying £15,000-a-week of his £40,000-a-week wages when he returned to parent club Tottenham for rehabilitation on a knee injury that restricted him to just five appearances during his loan.

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West Ham secured a season-long loan for Benayoun in the final hours of last month’s window after agreeing a deal with Chelsea in which the European champions pay a considerable portion of his £92,000-a-week salary.

But if the injury-prone 32-year-old suffers a serious injury and has to return to Stamford Bridge, it is understood the tab will be picked up by Chelsea.

- Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

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