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Tottenham set to drop interest in Andy Carroll but David Bentley loan move to Newcastle United edges closer

By Greg Stobart

Tottenham are ready to concede defeat in their efforts to sign £20 million-rated Newcastle United star Andy Carroll, UK understands.

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp made an approach for the highly rated striker earlier this week but Newcastle have consistently insisted their prize asset is not for sale and refused to open talks.

However, David Bentley's proposed loan move in the other direction is edging closer to completion, and could be made into a permanent £8m transfer at the end of the season.

Tottenham believe it would take more than £25m to land Carroll and will cool their interest until the summer as they feel it is an unrealistic price for a player still considered raw.

Spurs made the England international their top target heading into the transfer window and chairman Daniel Levy was hoping to strike a deal with Robbie Keane and Bentley heading the other way.

But the Londoners will now allow Ireland captain Keane to complete his proposed £7m switch to Birmingham, with the 30-year-old due in the Midlands for talks on Thursday. But the deal is far from certain, with Keane known to be determined to make sure he makes the best move for his career and his wage demands a potential obstacle.

Staying grounded | Tottenham are set to give up on Newcastle star Andy Carroll

Carroll, 22, has scored 11 Premier League goals this season and Toon boss Alan Pardew insists he is certain the frontman will not leave St James' Park in the January window. There is also anger in the north-east that Tottenham are trying to unsettle their star man.

“We thought Newcastle were bluffing and something could be done but we won't waste any more time on it,” a Tottenham insider told UK.

“Harry thinks he has the potential to be an excellent player but for the kind of money it would take, we would expect proven quality over a longer period than six months.”

While Newcastle have successfully scared the Londoners off a move for Carroll, talks are progressing well over a loan move for Bentley.

The midfielder has failed to shine since his £15m switch to White Hart Lane from Blackburn in 2008 and is attracting interest from a host of Premier League clubs including Birmingham, Fulham and Liverpool.

But Newcastle are edging closer to landing Bentley on a deal that would include an option to buy him permanently for £8m at the end of the season.

“Newcastle are in pole position and have held the most serious talks but there is loads of interest in Bentley so it's far from a done deal,” the source added.

The anticipated departure of Bentley will open the door for David Beckham to complete his two-month loan switch from Los Angeles Galaxy, with the move expected to be concluded in the next 48 hours.

Tottenham also believe they have won the race for Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar and are hoping to seal a £2m January move even though the South African will be available on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Redknapp wants to sign a new striker to lead the line for Spurs and the club have opened tentative talks with Ajax over a £17m deal for Luis Suarez.

But the Uruguayan star is considered a massive gamble by Redknapp, who is aware that he is running out of options to improve his strikeforce.

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