Leandro Damiao - Mike Hewitt
He's THE striker for Tottenham Hotspur. You know you want him.
It's time for another edition of "Daniel Levy's Imaginary Shortlist," where we break down the various players that our intrepid chairman may be – or in some cases SHOULD – be looking at purchasing in the January transfer window. Not all of these are realistic. Many of them are probably not even on Spurs' radar. But hey, we writers love this kind of stuff.
In this edition, we have everyone's favorite Brazilian striker, and the one player that has simultaneously scintillated Spurs fans' imaginations and crushed their dreams for the past three years. I'm speaking about, of course, Leandro Damião.
Name: Leandro Damião da Silva dos Santos
Team: Sport Club Internacional
League: Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
Primary position: Striker
Can also play: What, you want him to play elsewhere?
Leandro Damião has been linked to Tottenham Hotspur for what seems like forever. He's young, Brazilian, and up until recently, staggeringly proficient in the Brasileirao, where he plays primarily as a lone striker.
Leandro is a future star. In 2011 he scored 38 goals in all competitions for Internacional, and despite only scoring 7 league goals, still had 24 goals in all competitions in 2012. He had a breakout campaign at last summer's Olympics, where he was the tournament's top scorer with six goals in five appearances. He has a fantastic first touch and the technical ability to score in a variety of ways:
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Leandro has an astounding work rate, and it appears that the sky is the limit for him. He eventually WILL sign for a big European club, and he eventually WILL be a starting forward for the Brazilian national team. He's ridiculously talented, and even at age 23 could lead the Spurs line as a lone striker in a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3. He might also partner well with our existing strikers, though he's a very similar player to Jermain Defoe in a lot of ways.
The problem? His club. While Tottenham ostensibly have a "first refusal" partnership with Internacional, Inter has been, well, poopy about selling Leando despite our obvious interest. Reports were that we were close to a fantastic cut-rate deal for Leandro a couple of summers ago, but that fell apart at the last minute, and since then his productivity – and his price – has skyrocketed. We were also reportedly in for him last summer, as well as last January. And now, it appears as though we've tabled another £15m opening bid for him.
Likely price: £18m (or more)
Probability that valuation is wrong: Almost 100%, because Internacional sucks.
Team's willingness to sell: Low-to-medium. Despite our so-called "affiliation," Inter's got the upper hand in the negotiations, don't really need or want to sell, and they've already proven they'll move the goal-posts as they deem necessary. Inter is going to bleed every single euro out of Daniel Levy that they possibly can and that's the only way he's coming to north London. Also, there have been very strong indications in the past that, well, he's just not into us.
Fit at Tottenham Hotspur: EHRMAGERD!
Possibility he ends up at Spurs: Oh, who the hell knows. We've been here so many times before. It appears that we're REALLY TRULY SERIOUS now, but I'm so fed up with this whole saga that at this point I'm going to say "unlikely until proven otherwise." However, Emmanuel Adebayor's departure to the ACON leaves us with only one striker on the squad, and that desperation may light a fire under the rumors of this transfer.
Grade if this transfer goes through at likely price: A+++++. Guys. GUYS. SQUEEEEEEE!