The Barcelona star wants to move to Spurs but deal could hinge on Champions League qualification, with the Londoners ready to sell Emmanuel Adebayor as they plan for summer windowBy Greg Stobart
Tottenham have launched an ambitious £10 million move to sign Barcelona striker David Villa in the summer - though the switch could hinge on Champions League qualification.
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Tottenham are planning a summer overhaul of their attacking options and will listen to offers for Emmanuel Adebayor, who has scored just five Premier League goals this season and has an uncomfortable relationship with manager Andre Villas-Boas.
Villas-Boas’ side will clinch a place in the Premier League top four on the final day of the season on Sunday if they beat Sunderland and Arsenal fail to win at Newcastle.
A place in next season’s Champions League would be worth at least £35m to the Londoners - and would significantly increase their summer spending budget.
Villa, 31, has emerged as a leading target and the club believe they can convince him to accept a cut on his £140,000-a-week salary at Barcelona, although his representative Victor Onate has been described as “difficult” and would demand a significant agent’s fee.
Spurs tried to rival Arsenal for Villa’s signature in the January transfer window but Barcelona refused to sell Spain’s all-time top scorer midway through the season.
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Villa has scored 15 goals in all competitions this season but has struggled for form and fitness since suffering a broken leg in December 2011.
The former Valencia man is eager for a fresh start and would welcome a move to the Premier League. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is ready to adjust the club’s strict wage budget this summer to convince Gareth Bale to sign a new contract and to attract star names to White Hart Lane.
In addition to Villa, Villas-Boas also wants a powerful striker to lead the line as a replacement for Adebayor and remains interested in long-term target Leandro Damiao of Brazilian club Internacional.
Spurs are also monitoring Christian Benteke’s situation but are not prepared to match Aston Villa’s £20m asking price for the Belgian following his 19 Premier League goals this season.
Adebayor has come to life in the final weeks of the campaign but has frustrated both the Spurs staff and the crowd with his below-par performances since completing a £5m switch from Manchester City last August.
Villas-Boas has an uneasy relationship with the Togolese after he complained about his lack of first-team opportunities earlier in the season.
Adebayor’s wage demands means Spurs may find it difficult to find a buyer for the ex-Arsenal forward - and Villas-Boas only wants to sell the 29-year-old once he has a replacement in place.
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