AVB plays down Damiao link

Andre Villas-Boas says it is "unlikely" Brazil forward Leandro Damiao will move to Tottenham.

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Leandro Damiao: Was linked with Tottenha

Leandro Damiao: Was linked with Tottenha

Andre Villas-Boas has effectively ruled out signing Leandro Damiao and insisted he is happy with his attacking options as Emmanuel Adebayor prepares to leave for the African Nations Cup.

Adebayor will play at QPR on Saturday before flying to South Africa to join up with his Togo team-mates.

His decisionto take part in the tournament has led to renewed speculation that Tottenham have re-ignited their long-standing interest in Damiao.

Spurs have been tracking the 23-year-old, top scorer at the Olympics, for around two years and a fresh bid for the Brazilian would make sense given that Villas-Boas will have Jermain Defoe as his only recognised striker for up to five matches.

The Spurs manager insisted on Thursday such a move was practically impossible, however, and claimed he is happy that Clint Dempsey, who has spent much of his career playing just behind the front line, will prove to be an efficient deputy for former Arsenal striker Adebayor.

"Leandro is a player that we have always appreciated at this club (but) it is extremely unlikely that he will play for Tottenham," Villas-Boas told a press conference.

"I don't think Adebayor's decision will affect our transfer policy.

"We've been pretty happy with the options we have available.

"We understand that we can put ourselves in a difficult position if one of our strikers gets injured, but we've been in this situation before when Ade was injured, and we managed to go through it.

"I think we're able to cope. We always believe in Dempsey as a striker."

Adebayor hinted on Wednesday that, despite Villas-Boas' claims to the contrary, the Spurs boss was not too happy about him playing in South Africa.

The 35-year-old Villas-Boas attempted to draw a line under the matter on Thursday, adding: "The conversations that I had with the player are private and not for discussion.

"What I've told him is that we've been waiting for his decision patiently and if the players has to go, he goes, and if he stays he stays. That is the end of the story."

Villas-Boas has been a busy man during the transfer window so far, buying young defender Zeki Fryers from Standard Liege and securing the Bosman signing of Lewis Holtby, who will join from Schalke in June.

The Portuguese insisted it was "very unlikely" he would sign any more players before the transfer deadline, ruling out a move for Montpellier's Younes Belhanda, and playing down reports that Holtby could join from Schalke this month for a cut-price fee rather than in the summer.

Villas-Boas said: "When you reach an agreement with a player that is a free transfer in the summer, there is always that possibility, but it is not something we are looking to do."

In terms of departures, Villas-Boas said it was "impossible" for QPR to succeed in their pursuit of William Gallas, who has been sent to a French clinic to recover from a persistent calf injury.

But the Spurs boss admitted Jake Livermore, who has reportedly attracted the interest of Saturday's opponents, could depart on a short-term deal.

"There is a couple of possibilities for Jake to get a loan deal," the former Chelsea boss said.

"We are pretty happy with how he trains and how professional he has been but he hasn't had a lot of (playing) time.

"He is aware of these conversations. We just have to wait and see."

Saturday's match sees Harry Redknapp take on the club that sacked him back in June.

Villas-Boas, who has guided Spurs to third in the Barclays Premier League since replacing Redknapp, insists the fact that he is facing his predecessor does not give him an extra incentive to claim the three points on offer at Loftus Road.

"No, what I want is for us to profit from a weekend where the top teams meet each other," Villas-Boas said.

"Our objective is to shorten the gap to the top and open the gap to the teams who are below us so if that happens this weekend it would be perfect for us. That's what we hope for."


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