Reports linking Tottenham with a move for Brazilian attacker Willian persist, with the Shakhtar playmaker sending out mixed messages again that he is keen on a January move, factoring in the Ukrainian club's Champions League prospects. Shakhtar are already into the knockout stages, but the winger said: "As for possible a possible transfer there will be offers, and I work so this happens." At the same time he said he was 'happy' and living for the moment at Shakhtar, hardly messages of long-term commitment. Talksport claim Spurs are preparing a big bid, but Willian's owners are likely to demand £30 million, and it was mooted last week that Spurs have a £20 million budget, so there would need to be a compromise for the player to clinch his dream move to London.
Michael Dawson has shrugged off reports linking him with being re-united with Harry Redknapp at QPR. The defender did say it is frustrating not to be part of the Spurs side, but was in a good mood after the game against West Ham, in which he started, and said while that continues he is very happy at White Hart Lane.
Clint Dempsey is another Spurs player who was smiling after the final whistle yesterday, in what was arguably his best performance for the club since arriving in the summer. He commented that he has found it difficult to adapt to Spurs' style of play, and has not been getting enough of the ball as he would like, 'at the right angles', and also cited a lack of pre-season with the club for his slow start. However after yesterday he feels his form is picking up. You can read his full interview here.
West Ham United have released a statement condemning their own fans' Anti-Semitic chanting during the match with Spurs yesterday. The FA have launched an investigation into the abuse - and so have the police. Two Hammers fans have been cautioned, and so far one season ticket holder has been handed a lifetime ban by the club.
West Ham's Israeli loanee Yossi Benayoun has spoken of his 'embarassment' of the chanting of his clubs supporters. He said on Twitter:
"I have a great relationship with the West Ham United supporters, from my first spell at the club and again now I am back on loan here.
"This why I was very disappointed to hear some of the songs yesterday and it was embarrassing."
The president of Lazio football club has visited the injured Tottenham fan in hospital in Rome. Claudio Lolito told reporters that the shameful incident was 'nothing to do with football'. He added that Lazio would bear a 'surprise' on their t-shirts under their kits for Spurs when the club face Udinese tomorrow night. Two Roma fans have been arrested in connection with the attacks.
Key midfielder Sandro has moved to quell fears of his injury after being carried off late against the Hammers, describing the blow to the stomach as a 'hard hit' and nothing more. His status for the midweek game against Liverpool is currently unclear but there is every chance he will be available to start the match.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald