Tottenham appear to be Liverpool’s main rivals in the skirmish to sign Aston Villa target man Christian Benteke, though neither party, it would seem, want to activate the Belgian battering ram’s £32m release clause.
The 24-year-old is undoubtedly the Villans’ most marketable asset and without the 42 Premier League goals he has scored across 88 appearances, the west Midlands outfit would most likely have lost their ever-present status in the re-branded top flight some time ago.
However, in recent weeks he has, for the second time in his relatively short Villa Park tenure, voiced a desire to quit the club.
His questionable commitment to the cause, coupled with an injury-proneness and streaky tendency, renders the decision to sell a logical one for Villa.
Neither Spurs nor Liverpool are ready to meet the staggering sum guaranteed to release Benteke from his contract, leaving the prospect of the club receiving complete fiscal satisfaction from any transfer unlikely at this stage.
If they’re prepared to lower their cash demands and bolt a player into the bargain though, Villa could wangle themselves a far better deal.
Upon selling Benteke, sourcing a replacement would be Tim Sherwood’s top priority, but convincing a striker of comparable quality, one who is a failsafe, double-digit, top-flight goalscorer, to sign for a team near nailed-on to finish in the bottom half of the division will be difficult.
In all likelihood, they’d probably overspend on a frontman of inferior quality and this could be fatal.
This whole, potentially disastrous debacle could be avoided if Villa allow the Belgium international to join Spurs, so long as the Lilywhites send misfit forward Emmanuel Adebayor their way.
The tumultuous Togolese ace found himself on the White Hart Lane fringes last term, but he is the ideal short-term solution to this particular quandary.
A honeymoon-period reveller, Adebayor has thrived in the early exchanges of life at a new club since emerging as one of the Premier League’s most fearsome final-third forces at Arsenal in 2007/08.
After leaving the Emirates for Manchester City ahead of the 2009/10 edition, he struck 14 in 26 league outings, before being reduced to a peripheral figure the following year, the second half of which he spent on loan at Real Madrid.
Followers of Los Blancos saw him fire five in 14 during his temporary stay, before Harry Redknapp took him to Spurs.
As has become the norm, Adebayor started life as a Lilywhite in lightning fashion, notching 17 in 33 in the league, then promptly misplaced his net-rustling knowhow the next season, finishing on five from 25.
Just eight Premier League matches were graced by the Togo star last time around, with only two seeing him score, yet his tendency to rocket out of the traps means he’d be the perfect tonic for a Villa side suffering from a post-Benteke hangover.