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Feb 1, 2013

AVB: Damiao out of our price range

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas revealed the club came close to sealing a deadline-day deal for Internacional striker Leandro Damiao, before insisting Spurs will not be held to ransom over inflated fees and wages.

Leandro Damiao could still join Spurs, but it won't be until the summer after talks broke down Thursday.
Leandro Damiao would have been a welcome addition to the Spurs squad

With Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor the club’s only two senior strikers, Villas-Boas had been searching for a new addition to bolster his frontline.

But while the Spurs boss is disappointed to have missed out on Damiao, he has moved to quell the concerns of Spurs fans frustrated by the club’s failure to sign a hit-man.

“We have approached this market sensibly and said that if it was going to go out of proportion (fees and wages), we would step out of it,” he said. “We told you he (Damiao) was a player we chased, but we couldn’t agree on the full conditions, so we have moved on.

“The fans’ concerns for this situation are due by opinion making and expectation. It is a rollercoaster for them. If this window was not open and you are sitting in fourth position, you are pretty comfortable, but we are where we stand. We sounded the market for different possibilities as we have found comfort in a 4-4-2 formation and we only have two strikers, but it didn’t happen.”

Villas-Boas went on to confirm Tottenham would not return with a fresh bid for Damiao next summer, while also suggesting the £34 million deal that saw Spurs target Willian move from Shakhtar Donetsk to Anzhi Makhachkala may not have been in the best interests of the player.

“Willian is a very difficult situation,” Villas-Boas said. “He is rated very highly by Shakhtar to a point where European clubs can’t compete for him. His transfer was made by a crazy amount of money. He has moved to a league which is the same as the Ukrainian league. It’s a pity that a player of that talent cannot move to a better league because his talent deserves that, but I wish him well at Anzhi.

“What we see in Russia and Ukraine are people who have made it in their personal life to be a billionaire. He can take care of the club he followed as a kid with tremendous financial conditions.

“This is not a big problem for the Premier League. This is nothing new. It happened before with the Russian league and the league in Qatar. There are a lot of Premier League clubs who can attract big, big players. This is still the best league in the world and people want to come here.”

Villas-Boas confirmed that leading-scorer Defoe suffered no reaction from his injury after making his return in the 1-1 draw with Norwich on Wednesday, and is fit to start Sunday’s game against West Browmich Albion.

He also suggested young striker Harry Kane could play a part in the remainder of Tottenham’s season after his loan spell at Carrow Road was cut short.

“It was in the interests of the player and the team,” he said. “Norwich didn’t have the necessity to hold onto him and it is good for us to have another striking option.”

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