Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood has admitted that Aston Villa's pursuit of Spurs striker Emmanuel Adebayor has gone wrong, although he appeared to hint that the deal could yet be revived before the end of the summer transfer window. The 31 year old has spent the last three years at White Hart Lane since an initial loan deal was made permanent in August 2012. However, he scored just two goals in 13 Premier League outings last season as Harry Kane rightfully became the focal point of the attack.
As if it were not clear enough already that Adebayor's time at Tottenham was drawing to a close, Mauricio Pochettino confirmed earlier this week (August 2015) that neither he nor long-serving winger Aaron Lennon figured in his first-team plans. Obviously surplus to requirements in north London, the Togo international was most likely expected to be destined for Aston Villa, given his positive relationship with Sherwood and the club's need to find a replacement for Christian Benteke following his £32m ($50.2m) move to Liverpool.
Sky Sports reported on 29 July that Adebayor was set to undergo a medical ahead of a switch to Villa Park, and Sherwood's new assistant Ray Wilkins previously sounded hopeful that an agreement could be reached. However, speculation from the Birmingham Mail has since suggested that the prospect of a season-long loan had been scuppered by the player's apparent lack of interest in leaving his London base to relocate to the Midlands. While Sherwood did not confirm if this was the reason behind the breakdown in negotiations, he did concede that something was amiss.
At a press conference held ahead of Villa's opening 2015/16 Premier League fixture away to newly promoted Bournemouth, he said: "It's unfair for me to talk about him. He's a Tottenham player and I can't speculate on where he might go. He's still their player and that's it. He was here and we spoke, but he's a Tottenham player. We had discussion and he's still a Tottenham player, so something went wrong."
Villa have been active in the transfer market over recent weeks, replenishing their attacking stocks with the signings of Jordan Ayew and Rudy Gestede to supplement the arrivals of Micah Richards, Scott Sinclair, Mark Bunn, Jose Angel Crespo, Idrissa Gueye, Jordan Veretout and Jordan Amavi. Sherwood can also call upon the likes of experienced campaigner Gabby Agbonlahor and Czech striker Libor Kozak in the final, although he could yet return for Adebayor over the coming weeks.
"If it can be revived and we think it's necessary, two parties have got to agree on it," he added. "At the moment, there's no agreement and he's a Tottenham player. I am really happy with the four we have here at the moment, but if there is something that becomes available and it's better than what we've got, then you look to improve. It would have to be some good quality of striker to be better than what we have."
Carles Gil and Jack Grealish are both set to miss the trip to Dean Court on 8 August because of injury, while Jores Okore remains sidelined with a knee problem. Brad Guzan and Carlos Sanchez are available for selection after busy international summers at the Gold Cup and Copa America tournaments respectively.