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Sunderland bid for Scott Parker could fund Tottenham Hotspur's swoop for Gareth Barry

New Sunderland manager Paolo di Canio is not happy with the options at his disposal in midfield and could be targeting Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Scott Parker. Parker's sale could open the door to Gareth Barry joining Spurs.

Michael Regan

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Scott Parker missed the first part of last season recovering from an injury. He spent the second half of the season playing almost every game for Spurs, mostly because of injuries to other midfielders. Parker looked off the pace at times, but the 33 year-old put together enough decent performances to convince some clubs that he still had something left in the tank. Earlier this summer he was linked with a possible move to Italy with Fiorentina, but now it looks like an English club may be entering the fray.

Sunderland's depth in central midfield was horrible this past season. Often, winger Sebastian Larsson was asked to play in the center of the park to cope with the Black Cats deficiencies in that area. Thus, it seems obvious that new manager Paolo di Canio would make upgrading his options there his top priority. The Express is linking Parker with a move to the Stadium of Light. There are no quotes or prices mentioned, so this seems like a stab in the dark, but it is, at the very least, a stab that makes sense.

Parker cost Spurs £5 million when he joined from West Ham in 2011, getting that much for him now might be tricky. A bid of £3-4 million might be enough to prize the former England international away from North London. The question then will be who replaces Parker at Tottenham. The best choice would be Belgian midfielder Radha Nainggolan of Cagliari. The more worrying choice would be another old, English player. Some one like Gareth Barry.

Yes, that's correct. Barry, the Manchester City midfielder with only twelve months remaining on his contract is being linked with a £4 million move to Tottenham. Barry is 32, and coming off of a pretty mediocre season with Manchester City. Barry was counted on a lot by former City manager Roberto Mancini to do the heavy lifting in midfield, but that role seems to be slipping further from his grasp.

Personally, Barry, at this point is a clear upgrade over Parker, but neither of them should be first choice. Barry obviously understands how to play alongside a dynamic dribbling midfielder, having spent the last few season partnered up with Yaya Toure in Manchester. £4 million for Barry to be a back-up is a pretty good deal and I have faith that he's much more suited to being a true like-for-like to Sandro than Parker was. However, if we're looking at Barry to play games consistently then I think the idea is ludicrous. Nainggolan, who would be more expensive, is definitely a better option in that case.

Regardless of what Barry's role at Spurs might be should he actually join, the biggest stumbling block might be his £120,000 per week wages. I'm not sure how eager City are to move him on, but they may be willing to eat a portion of his annual wages, just as they did with Emmanuel Adebayor. Tottenham certainly aren't going to pay him anywhere near that much and getting him down to £60-70k per week would be necessary for this deal to go through.

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