Some quotes via Ben Pearce (present at AVB's early morning press conference for Sunday's clash with Sunderland) and some gentle carpet bombing of said questions from our husky voiced coach.
AVB on David Villa: “He's one of the world’s best strikers. What comes out of speculation at this time at Tottenham is very surreal.."
"You know this club is very active in the last weeks of the transfer window, so you can see that speculation is growing here and there..”
Spanish reports suggest Barcelona are willing/looking to let Villa go for around 12 million Euros. The suggestion is that Tottenham are interested but considering how painful the summer will be with the protracted transfer sagas that will no doubt plague our conciousness, it's worth not bothering at all until there is concrete evidence to suggest this is a plausible deal to be had. From a purely footballing perspective, Villa was a brilliant player. But he's suffered from injury and loss of form. Might well be capable of scoring 25 goals in the Prem, if he stays fit. But he's the wrong side of 30 and doesn't fit into the Levy transfer template unless he's signed for a lot less. A lot lot less.
Personally speaking, this looks like textbook agent talk to highlight the players availability. I remember reading something about AVB being in Barcelona the other week to look at youth players. It's all very connect-the-dots at the moment.
AVB on Ante Rebic: "I have no idea who this player is, I'm sorry. I don’t know where this has come from. He's not someone I'm looking at”
On the one hand you might say 'of course he's going to respond like this' in order to deflect (unlike Harry Redknapp's approach). On the other, I actually believe him. I've never heard of the player and I'm obsessed with Football Manager. Maybe I need to sack my scouts.
AVB on Luke Shaw: "Any player who makes a breakthrough at the age that he has is absolutely unbelievable..."
AVB on Shaw: "...but it doesn’t mean there is direct interest from Tottenham in the player. But he’s a wonderful footballer for sure.”
I think we'll be in for him as long as there is a chance the player is interested (and more importantly) Southampton are looking to sell. I can see all top five clubs bidding. Again, hardly going to advertise our interest with a public declaration.
AVB also reiterated (a few times) that he expects Bale to be at Spurs next season.
About the 100th time this has been said. Best thing that can happen in the next few weeks is for Bale to sign a new contract and commit himself to Tottenham, meaning no summer of speculation and tiresome repeated headlines. I've said it before, highly unlikely he'll. Frustratingly, it might mean we don't see him in the CL for Spurs again (if he left the following summer). But this is all ifs and buts. If you simply go on his age, his new born baby, and the fact Levy stood his ground with Modric in that first summer - there is very little to suggest he's going to leave this one. And if we happen to truly do something special next season (ifs, buts) then...ah, sod this. Enjoy the moment for the moment might be gone next time you look.
AVB expects Newcastle to be 'extremely competitive' very Arsenal but wouldn't blame Pardew for playing weakened team
Covers both eventualities really. Expects but wouldn't blame. Arsenal will be fired up because they have no other choice. Newcastle? Even if they we're fired up, I doubt they'd get within two goals of Arsenal. Fact is, everyone expects Arsenal to trounce Newcastle (0-3 and 0-6 at home in last two games) and if this game was played a month back, they'd all expect the same thing. I'm not being defeatist here, just realistic. Soz.
May as well just get drunk, sing about Spurs and que sera sera.