Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has hit back at suggestions that his chairman Daniel Levy was guilty of starting his transfer negotiations too late once again on deadline day after his failed bid to land Internacional striker Leandro Damiao.
Even though Villas-Boas admits a deal was close in their chase of Brazilian forward Leandro, Levy and Tottenham ran out of time to finalise what would have been a £20m move, in a tale curiously reminiscent of their failed bid to land FC Porto’s Joao Moutinho on the final day of the summer transfer window.
Cynics have suggested Levy starts his negotiations for lavish transfers late in the day in what is tantamount to a publicity stunt that will never reach a conclusion, with Spurs fans left frustrated as their hopes of a big name arrival were raised and dashed once again on Thursday.
Yet Villas-Boas has insisted he is not frustrated by Levy’s last minute transfer policy, as he insists he is not concerned to be heading into the final third of the Premier League season with just two recognised strikers in Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor at his disposal.
"Negotiations started early enough, but these deals drag on and there just wasn’t agreement from all parties," stated the Spurs boss when quizzed about the aborted Leandro deal. “We started talking early with Schalke over Lewis Holtby and got that deal finished, but it didn’t quite happen with Leandro.
“I felt Leandro had the characteristics to help us, but the deal has to be sensible for the club. If you get to the point where the deal makes no sense, then Tottenham have to stop there.
"It is a situation you see in any business and I embrace the decision the club makes not to go over the top (with spending). With Leandro, we almost got to the point where it was agreed, but it didn’t happen. It was neither party’s fault but it just didn’t quite work out as we would have liked
"I am happy with the squad we have and the reason we looked at other options was because we have found comfort in a 4-4-2 formation, but we have players who can play in a striker position apart from Defoe and Adebayor.
"We have great attacking potential in this team and I don’t agree with the idea that Arsenal and Chelsea have more offensive options than we do. We have lots of attacking players in this squad and have scored goals from several areas of the team."
Meanwhile, Villas-Boas has backed January signing Lewis Holtby to give his side an extra dimension following his arrival from Schalke. “He gives us extra flexibility as he can play in a central midfield role and he has settled in so quickly,” added AVB. “He can be a big player for us.”