If there is any validity in what the transfer rumour mill has been churning out, then Tottenham are close to signing Real Madrid and ex-Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Madrid have just smashed the World transfer record, (reported £56m), by securing the services of Brazilian playmaker Kaka, but Harry Redknapp, by all accounts is on the verge of what could be perceived as the deal of the summer.
In the aftermath of watching rivals Barcelona sweep the board last season, Los Merengues are starting a rejuvenation process. Talk of van Nistelrooy’s Bernabéu exit has become rife - Kaka’s arrival appears to be just the beginning.
Florentino Perez’ return as Real Madrid president has sparked the rumour mill into overdrive, with many big names being touted for both arrival and departure at Real Madrid Club de Fútbol.
Tottenham’s interest in the 32 year old, (at time of writing), has yet to be set in stone by either club – but the string of world-class players linked to the re-birth of the galactico’s, won’t be sitting comfortably in the Dutchman’s stomach.
If the rumours are to be believed, van Nistelrooy would cost potential buyers a figure somewhere under £2m – this is a snip for a player of his calibre. It is a surprise that there are not more top-half Premiership teams making enquiries.
In recent weeks Tottenham, who already have four established strikers, had been linked to ex-Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse. The majority of Liverpool supporters though, would probably tell you to be wary of the Frenchman.
Although he is a forward with great power, he lacks both finesse and awareness in front of goal. If Cisse is a genuine transfer target, Redknapp’s glowing reputation in the market will need to be scrutinised.
Cisse showed promise playing for Auxerre and Marseille; his blooming reputation provoked ex-Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier into raiding his homeland for the striker. Since coming to England to ply his trade though, he has been a massive disappointment.
When Sunderland needed Cisse most, at the business end and in the depths of a relegation battle, he scored just two goals in 19 appearances.
van Nistelrooy has scored a total of 140 goals in 217 appearances whilst playing for two heavyweights in European football, Manchester United and Real Madrid – averaging over a goal every two games. His career total is 232 goals from 384 appearances. He is, in the most literal sense, a goal machine.
His habitual injury problems could be problematic for Redknapp, but maybe a pay as you play contract could be put in place to nullify this – if Michael Owen is worth bringing back to the top flight then van Nistelrooy surely is, even more so.
The facts do not lie. He has continually scored goals at the highest level, both domestically and in Europe’s elite competition – he boasts Utd’s all-time European goal scoring record. Whilst others labour in the skill, he makes goal poaching look so simple.
Whilst David Villa, Ronaldo, Frank Ribery et al, top Florentino Perez’ wish list in the Spanish capital - in the English capital, Redknapp looks to profit from the Madrid upheaval.
With the creativity of Modric, Keane and Lennon to feed off, van Nistelrooy could supply a generous batch of goals. He would complete a quintuplet of strikers at White Hart Lane, with one maybe making way.
Redknapp re-signed Jermaine Defoe and Robbie Keane, so Roman Pavlyuchenko or Darren Bent could be cast aside. This would be harsh on the latter who was Spurs leading goal scorer last term.
Looking at Stoke’s James Beattie last season, big signings don’t have to break the bank. At a time of great financial crisis, attempting to sign van Nistelrooy for such a minimal fee seems to be great, great business.