I’d hate to try to buy anything off Daniel Levy. The Tottenham Hotspur chairman is the sort of negotiator who makes Del Boy look like a soft touch and as his club kick-off their pre-season campaign at Swindon Town tonight, he looks like he has fended off Manchester United, Real Madrid and anyone else that has been sniffing around you-know-who.
When Arsenal pipped Spurs to fourth place on the last day of the season, it seemed that Gareth Bale was going to be away as quickly as one of his long-range piledrivers.
But Levy has played another blinder: United’s rumoured interest doesn’t look like materialising, while Madrid have resorted to some desperate measures in their attempt to prise the Welsh star from north London, like the guy on the dancefloor who realises it is 2am and he hasn’t pulled yet (and I know all about being that guy, trust me).
So it would appear that Levy has won another transfer victory, which means manager Andre Villas-Boas can begin pre-season with a spring in his step and he’ll certainly be starting with a victory against managerless Swindon.
Spurs are 3/10, with the draw at 18/5 and the home win at 7/1, but this will be a stroll in the park for AVB’s boys.
The Robins sacked Kevin MacDonald two days ago after just five months at the helm, which in all honesty looks like a sound move.
Upon taking over from Paolo Di Canio, the former Aston Villa coach oversaw Swindon’s decline from top of League One to a side that just scraped into the play-offs, where they were beaten in the semi-finals by Brentford.
A run of just four wins in 14 games did for MacDonald, and there is nothing to suggest caretaker Mark Cooper can bring about any improvement against Spurs.
Only Paulinho, the £17 million signing from Corinthians, is absent from the Tottenham squad and Spurs will be too strong, making the 3/10 on the away win as safe a bet as you will find.