Deal is all but scuppered as Spurs look to enter the bidding

Football FanCast guest columnist Jim McGovern feels that his beloved Sunderland have little to no chance of signing Crouch, now Spurs have declared their interest.

With Harry Redknapp throwing his hat in the ring for Peter Crouch I think it is fair to say that our hopes of securing a deal for him have all but ended.

I suppose the warning signs were there and the very fact an agreement wasn't reached on Thursday when he flew in for talks suggests that he has other irons in the fire so to speak and is waiting to see if other offers emerge. I have suggested before that it's alright for Steve Bruce having all this wealth at his disposal, but unless he can attract a big name signing that will show that we mean business, and then other players will think twice before joining us. Perhaps it might mean that we have to break our wage structure in order to start the ball rolling, but we are clearly not giving players offers that they can't refuse or selling Ellis Short's long term ambitions for the club. If that was the case then Crouch would have signed in an instant, however the failing has now opened the door for Fulham and more significantly Tottenham.

Unfortunately there is history with Redknapp and Crouch, having played under him for two different clubs and he was Harry's big money signing last summer, when manager of Portsmouth. Obviously with him then moving to Spurs and also taking his strike partner Jermain Defoe with him, it is clear the prospect of them reuniting will have appeal. Crouch is probably also aware that moving to Spurs he will always be in the spotlight of Capello, who is seemingly always at White Hart Lane, therefore in a World Cup year that will be an important factor. It leaves us with little chance of signing for us and barring Spurs looking elsewhere to someone like Huntelaar, they already know what the asking price is due to us and will probably be able to gazump any wages that we will be able to offer.

I really think it is time that we as a club took a long hard look at our strategies and ambitions because something has got to give. We need to be not so public in our interest in players and when it comes to negotiations to start thinking like a big club and actually pay top wages in order to make the club appealing. With respect Fraizer Campbell is hardly a player that will set the world alight or a real signal of our intent and for me he is the epitome of the average signings that we have come use to seeing at the Stadium of Light. I know by trying to lure Crouch that we are trying to raise that barrier, but we are clearly not doing enough in order to secure these moves.


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