Harry Redknapp plans mass White Hart Lane cull.
Instead of contemplating how to strengthen in preparation for a second season in the Champions League, Tottenham Hotspur are now steeling themselves for a summer clear-out while at the same time attempting to hang on to their prized asset Gareth Bale.
Following Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City that confirmed fourth place is beyond their reach, senior figures at the club met yesterday to reassess their current squad in the light of their disappointing end to the season.
Chairman Daniel Levy is determined to keep hold of Bale but will not sanction further spending on new recruits until there has been a clear-out of some other established stars to streamline the first-team squad and reduce the wage bill.
Levy wants to sell several high-profile players, including four who are currently out on loan – striker Robbie Keane, who is at West Ham, and midfielders Jamie O’Hara (at Wolverhampton Wanderers), Giovani dos Santos (at Racing Santander) and David Bentley (at Birmingham City).
Defender Jonathan Woodgate and goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini are both out of contract in the summer and are unlikely to be offered new deals.
Tottenham will also listen to offers for the likes of Roman Pavlyuchenko, Niko Kranjcar, Alan Hutton, Vedran Corluka and Wilson Palacios.
Whilst this does look like one hell of a major cull, things may not be as bad as they seem. It is clear that Harry Redknapp has a massive Tottenham squad and failure to qualify for the Champions League will have a knock on effect on the club’s finances, but it is far more beneficial to remove under performing members of the squad rather than having to listen to offers for the club’s top stars.
The likes of Rafael Van der Vaart, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Sandro have all been strongly linked with interest from Europe’s elite and Redknapp has steadfastly held his ground by stating that none of those players would be sold, so clearly in order to not have to sell any of his important players, he knows he must cut a swathe of players from his squad that do not offer him a great deal.
Of those on this list from the Independent arguably only a handful would be missed. Those out on loan were clearly on the periphery and the likes of Keane and Giovani have stated their desire to move on. Pavlyuchenko is consistently linked with a move away from Tottenham and the Russian may feel that the time is right to leave after failing to convince Redknapp that he should be a first team regular.
Right backs Corluka and Hutton have shared duties this term but Redknapp has been linked with moves to bring in a new player for that position. Palacios looks a shadow of the player he was last term and Kranjcar, though talented, is not better than those ahead of him in the pecking order.