Tottenham Hotspur have failed with an extraordinary €45 million bid for Sergio Aguero, Atletico Madrid's Argentina striker.
Tottenham have record bid for Sergio Aguero rejected
Tottenham Hotspur have failed with an extraordinary bid for Sergio Aguero, the Argentina striker.
The club's determination to land an elite-class forward in the current window led them to offer €45 million (Dh225m) for Atletico Madrid's star asset.
The Spanish club are understood to have rejected both a straight cash offer for the player when Daniel Levy, the Tottenham chairman, contacted them on Saturday, and a package deal that would have seen Roman Pavyluchenko leave White Hart Lane in part exchange.
Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, has had a standing request since the summer for a centre-forward capable of leading his team's attack by himself.
Levy has responded with a typically frenzied effort in the January transfer window.
Last week, Levy failed with a €25m offer for Italy international Guiseppe Rossi, who subsequently agreed to an improved contract at Villarreal, the Spanish club. Yesterday, the White Hart Lane club had an improved €30m offer rebuffed by the Yellow Submarines, too. Despite tieing Rossi to a new deal, it is believed an offer of €35m would bring them to the negotiating table.
Over the weekend he made significant attempts to prise Andy Carroll from Newcastle United and Spain centre-forward Fernando Llorente from Athletic Bilbao. The magnitude of the offers underline Tottenham's intention to retain their Champions League status and push further up the Premier League table.
Tottenham's proposed deal for Aguero would have far exceeded the £16.5m (Dh96.5m) Tottenham spent on Luka Modric in 2008. In fact, it would, at least temporarily, have reset the UK-record sum of £32.5m that Manchester City spent on Robinho as the statement signing of their Abu Dhabi takeover.
Fernando Torres expects to move to Chelsea in a £50m deal today. The Spaniard's lawyer flew into England yesterday to handle a new contract for Torres.
While Aguero, 22, has also drawn inquiries from Chelsea and Real Madrid in the current transfer window, Atletico have steadfastly refused to sanction a sale.
Though Aguero has a €45m buyout clause in his contract, its terms specify that the sum must be paid by the player not the buying club if that club is based overseas.
As such, the impact of income tax brings the buyout's effective value to just over €80m.
Tottenham have already made room in their top-heavy squad for a new striker by allowing Robbie Keane to join West Ham United.
The Irishman moves to Upton Park on a half-season loan with West Ham contractually committed to buying him if they avoid relegation.
"I'm afraid we've lost Robbie," said Redknapp. "The chairman's done a deal where if they stay up they've got to buy him. I won't get a striker now. We never made a bid for Andy Carroll. Unless the chairman made a bid. I don't know, he might have done. No one's ever told me that we've made a bid for Andy Carroll."
Redknapp expects to be without Younes Kaboul for six weeks after the French defender underwent a knee operation yesterday.
"Ledley King and [Jonathan] Woodgate are not fit," said Redknapp. "We've got one spare defender on our books and that's [Vedran] Corluka. I don't think we'll get a [defender on] loan. Who's going to give you somebody good enough to play at Premier League level?"
Meanwhile, one player leaving White Hart Lane is Jamie O'Hara. The midfielder, 24, has joined Wolverhampton Wanderers on loan for the remainder of the season.
Aston Villa's Stephen Ireland travelled to Newcastle United yesterday to have a medical ahead of a loan move.