Tottenham are closing in on deal for Valencia striker Roberto Soldado
Villas-Boas says Spurs are counting on Gareth Bale for the future
Tottenham Hotspur look like they are close to closing a deal to sign Roberto Soldado of Valencia and Spain. Photograph: Miguel Tovar/Getty Images
Tottenham Hotspur last night moved close to a deal to sign the Valencia striker Roberto Soldado. The Valencia president, Amadeo Salvo, admitted the London club are “not far” from meeting the €30million asking price which matches Soldado’s official buy-out clause.
Valencia would accept that figure as an agreement rather than an imposition, saving Spurs from having to pay tax on the fee.
Tottenham’s director of football, Franco Baldini, travelled to Valencia yesterday, where he met Soldado’s agent Alberto Toldrá. He then met with Salvo, when Spurs are understood to have upped their original €24 million bid.
The 28-year-old, who had previously admitted he would like to play in the Premier League and has been on the verge of leaving Valencia before, notably to Marseilles, has agreed terms in principle. He would earn around €3.5 million a year.
Yesterday morning the Valencia manager Miroslav Djukic had said: “I think Roberto is going to stay with us, although you can’t rule anything out. I don’t think anyone will pay the buy-out clause.
But Baldini’s visit puts a different complexion on the situation. Spurs will resist paying €30 million and chairman Daniel Levy has a reputation as a tough negotiator, prepared for talks to become drawn out in pursuit of the right price, while Valencia’s financial crisis means they have to sell.
If Spurs meet the buy-out clause, Valencia will be able to present the transfer as something they were unable to prevent. Even if Spurs do not meet the official €30 million valuation, the Spanish club believe a deal is virtually inevitable now.
Sources in Spain suggest there has been interest from Liverpool, too, but that only Spurs have made a formal offer. Valencia have a board meeting today, at which they could officially approve the transfer.
Meanwhile, Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has responded to reports in Spain that Gareth Bale is on the brink of joining Real Madrid by insisting his future remains at White Hart Lane.
Spurs are unwilling to sell the Wales winger, with Villas-Boas outlining the club’s position at a press conference ahead of the Asia Trophy in Hong Kong.
“On Gareth I want to repeat what I was telling you last season and what I was telling you from the beginning of pre-season so I cannot extend myself,” he said. “He’s a player we are willing to continue to have, he’s a Tottenham player, he’s one of the most fantastic players in the world at the moment and we are counting on him for the future.”