Spurs Still In For Willian And Damiao; Villas-Boas' Pressers Just Games?

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18: Tottenham Hotspur Manager Andre Villas-Boas returns the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at Sports Direct Arena on August 18, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

Yesterday, during a press conference, Andre Villas-Boas did a bit of rubbishing the rumors that Tottenham Hotspur have made bids for Leandro Damiao and Willian. The two young Brazilians would probably both cost somewhere in the neighborhood of £20m, and they would both be great additions to the club. Of course, Villas-Boas isn't helping those rumors along.

If you missed it yesterday, here's what Villas-Boas had to say about Damiao:

"I went to see him in Brazil when I was doing nothing [during the summer]! "He is obviously a good, good player but he is not on our prospect at the moment, because I think we are closed on what we are trying to do with the striker situation."

And Willian:

"No. He is a player I was interested in last year, an extremely talented player. I wouldn't want to go very deep because I feel it would be disrespectful for Shakhtar, which is a club I have a good relationship with. In that sense the only thing I can tell you is that last year when I was at Chelsea I was interested in the player and I appreciate his qualities."

Genuine? Maybe, but not certainly. A certain Guardian writer certainly doesn't think so. Follow me below the jump.

In those quotes, Villas-Boas is saying what anyone would say, no matter what their intentions were. If he was genuinely interested in signing Willian and Damiao and Daniel Levy shared that interest, it would be in Tottenham's best interest to deny that they are attempting to sign the players. If Spurs aren't interested in either player, Villas-Boas would have no reason to lie.

David Hytner had a column last night at The Guardian where he implied that Spurs are still after both players. Here's a short excerpt.

The devil in the transfer updates, though, lay in the caveats, the deeper readings, the extra details. Tottenham have had a representative in Porto Alegre this week to investigate the closure of a deal for Damiâo and Villas-Boas confirmed that the Brazil No9 was "a fantastic player that I know of". He added that Damiâo was "not our prospect at the moment". Never say never.

He then goes on to talk about how Villas-Boas has left himself wiggle room to possibly sell Rafael Van der Vaart, and how Willian would be a great addition if Van der Vaart goes. It takes a few leaps of logic to get to that point, and Hytner doesn't really present any evidence that Spurs are after Willian, but it's not inconceivable.

Unfortunately, in the end, this is all mostly junk. Not Hytner's writing or information, but the discussion around Tottenham's transfer policy over the next week in general. With the last line of his piece, Hytner hits the nail on the head.

The clarity on 1 September will be a thing of beauty.

Isn't that what we say every year?

Star-divide

Related stories

Tim Vickery on Leandro Damiao | Original Willian rumors | Rumors of Damiao in, Defoe out | Internacional president wants Damiao's buyout clause met

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