Already faced with the migraine-inducing task of signing another striker and the growing probability of having to replace Gareth Bale – now 2/7 to join Real Madrid – Tottenham must now find time for a spot of defender recruitment.
The swift and unforeseen sale of Steven Caulker to Cardiff for a reported £8 million was comprehendible, given that it is a rather hefty fee for someone still relatively unproven and likely to have served as a backup option in the upcoming campaign.
However, with his departure occurring a month on from William Gallas’ release – the pair started a combined 33 matches last term – it leaves Spurs with just three senior centre backs.
Jan Vertonghen is currently injured, Michael Dawson’s fitness record meanwhile could only ever be described as encouraging when compared to former colleague Ledley King and Younes Kaboul hasn’t played competitively since the opening day of last season.
At least one new addition is therefore required in the fortnight before 2013/14 commences but, despite the sudden nature of Caulker’s exit, it appears as though a contingency plan is in place.
The 11/5 contenders for a top-four finish have been strongly linked with the Romanian international Vlad Chiriches who spent a year with Benfica in his youth but presently remains in his homeland with Steaua Bucharest.
The 23-year-old would cost around £7 million, though the deal has been delayed by Steaua’s wish to retain him for the Champions League qualifying process. Chiriches played the entirety of their 2-0 win away to Dinamo Tbilisi on Wednesday.
If that transpires to be a deal breaker, or Andre Villas-Boas requests a five-man centre back pool like the one that proved beneficial last season, another potential target is Vertonghen’s former Ajax teammate Toby Alderweireld.
The Belgian clean sheet enthusiast’s contract with the Dutch capital’s finest expires next summer and he recently described the Premier League as “the most fantastic league in Europe”.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.