By Greg Stobart
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is likely to resist the temptation to launch the club back into the transfer market in January, despite the promise of £40 million to spend from chairman Daniel Levy.
Spurs are three points behind leaders Arsenal in fourth position in the Premier League and chairman Daniel Levy is ready to fund winter spending to boost the club’s ambition for a top four finish. Despite some inconsistent performances in the first quarter of the season, there is even talk of a title challenge within the corridors at White Hart Lane.
However, while Villas-Boas acknowledges that the club need to sign both a left-back and a striker, the Portuguese is pessimistic that the requisite quality of player will be available, prompting him to concentrate instead on gelling what is largely a new squad after a summer of massive change at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham spent almost £100m on seven new signings in the summer, a spending splurge largely financed by Gareth Bale’s world record £86m transfer to Spanish giants Real Madrid, with Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Paulinho, Vlad Chiriches, Etienne Capoue and Nacer Chadli all arriving before the close of the transfer window in September.
Despite equaling the club's best start to a Premier League season after nine games, though, Villas-Boas is wary that the summer upheaval has led to some disjointed performances - and he is keen to avoid major changes to the squad dynamic in the winter.
So while Villas-Boas is keen to sign a striker - and the club will listen to offers for both Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe in January - the Portuguese is relaxed about the situation and will only pay for leading targets.
Christian Benteke was a target during the summer but Spurs baulked at Aston Villa's £25m asking price, prompting the Belgian to sign a new contract with the Midlands club. The Spurs hierarchy are also long-term admirers of Porto forward Jackson Martinez but the Portuguese club are highly unlikely to sell their star man in January.
The winter transfer window is a notoriously difficult time to sign players, with clubs involved in European competitions and unwilling to lose key players midway through the season.
This has led Villas-Boas to believe he may be better off keeping his powder dry until the summer, when Champions League qualification would enable the north London club to attract higher quality players to White Hart Lane.
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