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By ESPN Staff
Jan 21, 2008

Tottenham poised to sign Hertha's Gilberto

Tottenham are set to sign Gilberto from German club Hertha Berlin - bringing an end to their recent policy of targeting younger players.

The Brazilian is a left-back who can operate in midfield and at 31 will be one of the most experienced members of Juande Ramos' squad when the paperwork is completed for his move.

Spurs signed Dutch veteran Edgar Davids in 2005 but their strategy in recent seasons has been to buy younger players, maximising potential for eventual profit.

Head coach Ramos has identified the need for experience, particularly in a defence short on confidence this season and Ledley King being eased back into the side after knee surgery.

Gilberto's contract with Hertha expires in the summer and he could be signed either immediately if a deal is agreed or on a pre-contract for next season.

'I'm accustomed to winning trophies with Brazil but now I'd like to do the same at club level,' he said over the weekend.

He was included in the 2006 World Cup squad for Brazil and scored in the victory over Japan, cutting in from the left and drilling his finish into the far corner.

Most of his career was spent in Brazil before moving to Germany in 2004, but he did have a brief, unsuccessful spell at Inter Milan in the 1999-2000 season.

Spurs have only bought Chris Gunter from Cardiff in this transfer window and look set to continue their trend of leaving business until later in January.

There is interest in Juventus' Tiago and Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing, both to bolster Ramos' midfield.

Lyon striker Fred was a target while the futures of Dimitar Berbatov and Jermain Defoe looked uncertain, although both appear increasingly likely to remain at White Hart Lane until at least the summer.

Ramos gave Defoe the skipper's armband for Saturday's victory over Sunderland as King and Robbie Keane were rested, while Paul Robinson has lost his place in the starting line-up.

Radek Cerny has not made a mistake since taking over from Robinson and the former Leeds goalkeeper has been reported to be deeply concerned over his future at Spurs.

Keane, who came off the bench against Sunderland and scored his 100th goal for Spurs, is likely to partner Berbatov in attack for the Carling Cup semi-final against Arsenal tomorrow.

Berbatov is eagerly anticipating the second leg, with the tie poised at 1-1.

He told Bulgarian Darik radio: 'The clash with Arsenal promises to be the match of the year for us.

'We're confident we can go through but it's going to be extremely difficult because they are a top-class team.'