BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 10: Joey Barton of Newcastle United receives a yellow card from referee Stuart Attwell during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United at Villa Park on April 10, 2011 Birmingham, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
It's that time of week boys and girls and as seems to often be the case as the season approaches the transfer rumor mill is slowing down. Spurs have yet to buy the striker we so badly need though and that is sure to continue to stoke the fires of many journalists hoping to file an easy story and then head to the pub.
This weeks rumors are actually a little depressing. We seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel now that Mirko Vucinic has joined Juventus and Fernando Llorente doesn't appear to be going anywhere. This is what happens when you wait until the last minute to do your shopping. All the things you wanted are sold-out and you wind up going home with a can of Spam. On to the rumors!
Joey Barton Is A Hipster: Maybe you didn't know that, but that's the nicest thing I could think to call him, the next nicest being an expletive (and let's face it, hipster is almost an expletive). We've already covered this story fairly extensively on the site, but I want to put my two cents (pence?) in. On a free transfer, I would take Joey Barton the footballer. He's pretty good and provides the toughness and grit that makes manager Harry Redknapp swoon. However, at no price do I want Joey Barton the human being. Maybe he has cleaned up his act in recent years and maybe he is a nice guy who just gets a bad rap, but that doesn't mean I have to like him. Since it's impossible to separate the footballer from the person I'm going to have to pass on this, even though it would mean less Jermaine Jenas.
The Daily Fail Is At It Again: Don't get me wrong, I like that some of these papers just pick every possible name they can and throw it on a page, but this from the Daily Mail borders on absurd. Tottenham are allegedly after Olympique Lyonnais' Bosnian playmaker Miralem Pjanic. In the space of a few sentences the Mail also sites the clubs pursuit of Juan Mata and Sao Paulo midfielder Casemiro. Of those players I would definitely take all three of them, but only Casemiro seems like a realistic option. I doubt Lyon will be inclined to let Pjanic leave, but if Luka Modric departs for Chelsea then Spurs could step up the chase for Pjanic.
Speaking of Sao Paulo Players: Spurs were also linked, last week, with Sao Paulo midfielder Lucas, not Liverpool's Lucas Leiva, though it would appear Kenny Daglish's team are in for him. How confusing would that be? Kevin McCauley is the expert on Brazilian football around here so I won't even pretend to know how good this kid (he's 18) is. I do know that he is on FIFA's list of Players to Watch in 2011 and based on the other players on that list I'd say that this Lucas might be pretty good.
Dibs On The Next Luka Modric: Apparently Arsenal don't understand what "dibs" means. Fortunately, our North London rivals look set to pass up the opportunity to sign "The Next Luka Modric", Dinamo Zagreb's Mateo Kovacic, leaving the door wide open for Tottenham to sign him. Kovacic is just 17 years old, but Zagreb have already slapped a £10 million valution on him. The young Croatian (who was born in Austria) has played only 8 games for Dinamo Zagreb, but looks like he could feature more prominently this season. I think a move to England might stall his development. Let's give this kid a few more years before we spend tons of money on him.
#WeNeedAStriker: This week we have a name that hasn't been discussed before. It's Hamburg striker Paulo Guerrero. The Peruvian just finished up a successful Copa America run that saw him finish as the tournament's top scorer with five goals and now he's being linked with a move away from the Bundesliga. The 27 year-old has been at Hamburg since 2006, but has only scored 45 times in 154 matches in all competitions. This isn't exactly the sort of scoring record I'd like to see from a player we're linked with, but people much smarter than I am are tipping the Paolo Guerrero to have a big season in 2011-12. Depending on the price this could be an ok move, but I'm not sure how it's an improvement on what we already have.
Player We're Not Being Linked With But Should Be: Some people have been complaining lately about the lack of cover in central defense and while I firmly believe that we have plenty of cover there let's look at a center back that could do a job for us. Cedric Mongongu of Monaco. He's rumored to have completed a move to Blackburn Rovers for around £3 million, but that deal seems to be on the verge of collapse given the player's lack of a French Passport. Monaco have been relegate to Ligue 2 and probably can't afford to keep a player like Mongongu around. For the price and at the age of 22 the Congolese defender might be an excellent target for Spurs.
Player We're Actually Going To Buy...This Week: You know what Harry Redknapp loves almost as much as he loves leaders? Players that used to play for Spurs. When Harry first became manager he brought back the likes of Robbie Keane, Peter Crouch (a Spurs academy player, though he never made a first team appearance), Jermain Defoe, Younes Kaboul, and Pascal Chimbonda. Now he'd like to bring back Bobby Zamora and rumors have it that he's willing to swap either Defoe or Crouch to bring him to White Hart Lane. In case you've forgotten, Spurs swapped Zamora and £7 million for Defoe back in 2004, now it looks like Zamora might cost Defoe plus a few million. I feel like I'm living in an alternate reality and I don't like it one bit. Can someone please stop Harry?