Tottenham Hotspur have had an €25.5m bid for the striker Saido Berahino rejected by West Bromwich Albion. Spurs are desperate for forward reinforcements and Mauricio Pochettino has made Berahino his prime target.
West Brom insist the 22-year-old is not for sale and they took the unusual step of releasing a statement from the chairman, Jeremy Peace, on their website, to say Tottenham's interest was unwelcome.
"We have no interest in selling Saido, which is what I have told Daniel Levy [the Tottenham chairman]," Peace said. "I know we are living in an age where no club can say 'never' about the possibility of selling a player.
“However, the prospect of selling Saido is simply not on our agenda. We are going forward with Saido very much in our plans and still striving to add players to improve the balance of our squad.”
Tottenham are certain to return with an improved offer. They have been encouraged by Peace's admission that every player has his price and they view his statement as nothing more than a bargaining ploy. West Brom value Berahino at €35.5m. Pochettino has sold Roberto Soldado to Villarreal for €10m and with Emmanuel Adebayor having been banished to train with the development squad while Tottenham try to sell him, the manager has Harry Kane as his only established striker. He did, though, complete the €14m signing of Clinton N'Jie from Lyon on Saturday. The 21-year-old Cameroon international can play up front or on the wing.
Tony Pulis has made it clear he wants additions to his West Brom squad before the closure of the window and has offered Spurs €7m for the Argentina defender Federico Fazio, who is down the pecking order at White Hart Lane after the signings of Toby Alderweireld and Kevin Wimmer.
Pullis did not rule out the possibility of Berahino being sold when he was asked about it at the weekend. “If there’s an unbelievable offer for Saido, then nobody turns it down,” he said. “Tottenham didn’t turn it down for [GARETH]Bale, Manchester United never turned it down for [CRISTIANO]Ronaldo, you just don’t do it.
“ To say he’s not going to go is wrong for me but it’s going to have to be something special.
“We don’t want him to go, I personally don’t think it’s right for him to go. He’s playing regularly here and he’s almost the main man.”