Alarm bells started ringing up and down Fleet Street on Sunday when Roberto Mancini revealed that he was in the market for a winger. The Italian is often pretty open about players that he is looking at and his confirmation that he is looking to recruit both a central midfielder and a winger has caused quiet a stir in the press.
The bastion of all things accurate and reasonable, the Mirror, today claim that a swap deal is in the offing involving everyone's (least?) favourite wheeler dealer Harry Redknapp. The two names being rammed together in this most recent case of media desperation are Emmanuel Adebayor and Aaron Lennon.
Clearly we are looking to move on the striker and have struggled to do so previously. In footballing terms I still feel that Adebayor could have something to offer, but his attitude in training and supposed undermining of the manager makes that a near impossibility. The biggest problem with the striker is his sky high wages, there is clearly not a shortage of clubs who would happily take him, but he seems incredibly unwilling to take a wage cut, a problem that we are facing with many of the players on the outskirts of the squad.
The newspaper report that talks have already gone on, something that I find highly unlikely, and they claim that both parties are trying to 'numbercrunch' the figures involved to find a solution that both parties would be happy with. Lennon would clearly be a decent option, but I would hardly be blown away by his arrival. He wouldn't be close to the first team and if his signing was at the expense of Shaun Wright-Phillips, that would be a shame. He might be lightning fast, but I have never been entirely sure that he is good enough for a team aiming for the title. A good squad player, but not a starter.
I suppose the other way to look at it, is that if there are no other offers on the table it would get Ade's wages off our books and clearly Lennon would be on less money and therefore it would make sense. The big stumbling block in my eyes is that I highly doubt the player is willing to take a pay cut to play for Tottenham, he has been unwilling too before and I see no reason why he would take a cut now. It remains an inescapable fact that the White Hart Lane club won't be able to pay him what he is currently getting.
I see no truth in this to be honest, I am sure we will sign a wideman, but the man to fill that role looks increasingly likely to be Italian winger Alessio Cerci. Obviously I hope that we can move on Adebayor, if only to get his wages off the books, rumours abound that Real Madrid may be ready to make a move for the striker, although quite why they want him remains a mystery to me.
Ultimately I just don't see this one as anything more than tabloid nonsense, I wouldn't be overly disappointed if it were to happen but I highly doubt there is anything in this one.