By Tottenham correspondent Tony Hughes
Tottenham are poised to make a second Saido Berahino bid of around £20million, Football Insider sources understand.
The London club’s opening offer, which is believed to have been worth £15million, was rejected by West Brom on Tuesday in unusually public fashion.
Chairman Jeremy Peace took the rare step of releasing a statement on the Midland clubs’ website to reveal the Berahino bid had been tabled by Tottenham and that their interest is unwelcome.
But Football Insider sources understand that Spurs regard Peace’s statement as little more than a bargaining ploy and will return with an improved offer of around £20million.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino is desperate for forward reinforcements after starting the season with Harry Kane as his only established striker. Roberto Soldado has been sold to Villarreal for £7million and Emmanuel Adebayor is training with the youth team while he negotiates a transfer.
Spurs are working on deal for Berahino and Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez and there is a possibility they could sign both strikers before the transfer window closes.
“We have no interest in selling Saido, which is what I have told Daniel Levy [the Tottenham chairman],” Peace said in a statement. “I know we are living in an age where no club can say ‘never’ about the possibility of selling a player.
West Brom manager Tony Pulis has made it clear he wants additions to his West Brom squad before the closure of the window and has offered Spurs £5million for the Argentina defender Federico Fazio, who has slipped down the centre-back pecking order after the signings of Toby Alderweireld and Kevin Wimmer.
Pullis did not rule out the possibility of Berahino being sold when he was asked about it at the weekend. “If there’s an unbelievable offer for Saido, then nobody turns it down,” he said.
“Tottenham didn’t turn it down for Gareth Bale, Manchester United never turned it down for Cristiano Ronaldo, you just don’t do it. To say he’s not going to go is wrong for me but it’s going to have to be something special. We don’t want him to go, I personally don’t think it’s right for him to go. He’s playing regularly here and he’s almost the main man.”
Football Insider revealed last month that Tottenham had opened preliminary talks with West Brom about Berahino after identifying him as one of their primary targets to strengthen Pochettino’s front line.
The Midlands club are trying to tie Berahino down to a new contract that would replace his existing £15,000-a-week deal, which has two years remaining.
The 21-year-old has scored 29 goals in 81 appearances for the Baggies and was their top scorer last season with 20 strikes, including 14 in the Premier League.