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Tottenham Hotspur are considering a deadline day swap deal involving Cameroon international Benoit Assou-Ekotto. The Metro believes Spurs are willing to trade the 28-year-old for Uruguayan Alvaro Pereira of Inter Milan.
Pereira joined Inter, from Portuguese club FC Porto, for £8m. The defender appears to be a long-time target for Andre Villas-Boas, with the Metro also stating the ex-Chelsea boss tried to sign him when he was at Stamford Bridge. AVB has worked with Pereira before (when the two were at Porto) and will probably welcome the chance to re-unite with the South American.
Assou-Ekotto has struggled with injuries this term and has made only six appearances overall (three starts in the Premier League). AVB seems to prefer 24-year-old Kyle Naughton at left-back.
The rivalry between the Cameroonian and Naughton will likely increase the chances of the latter leaving White Hart Lane. Assou-Ekotto earlier claimed Naughton was "not a real left-back" and dismissed claims on his position.
Meanwhile, Spurs are set to miss out on signing Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Willian, who is closing in on joining Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala.
AVB Claims Winger Lucky to Escape Injury
Finally, AVB has criticised match officials from Spurs' midweek league match at Carrow Road, where Norwich City held the Champions League hopefuls to a 1-1 draw. AVB claimed to be disappointed that a tackle on star winger Gareth Bale went unpunished. The incident involved Bale and Canaries' midfielder Alexander Tettey.
"He was extremely lucky to avoid Tettey's challenge, which could have broken his ankle. It's disappointing that the referee did not give a yellow or red card after the incident. I've spoken to the ref and I'm extremely disappointed with his game. I think you have to protect the unpredictability and passion of the game but you have to be aware that people go over the top," the manager explained.
Spurs' draw means they remain in fourth in the league table, ahead of the chasing pack of Everton, Arsenal and Liverpool. The north London club have games against West Brom and Newcastle United in the first week of February, before they prepare for the visit of French club Olympique Lyon, for the first leg of the first knock-out round of the 2013 UEFA Europa League.