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Spurs head the hunt to capture De Pedro
By Sam Wallace (Filed: 01/01/2004)

Tottenham will turn their attention to signing former Spanish international Javier De Pedro for around £1 million after Nottingham Forest last night rejected a bid for Andy Reid, their promising Republic of Ireland striker.

De Pedro attracted the interest of Southampton in the summer but they failed in a £1.5 million bid to sign him, though the Real Sociedad player has now become a target for Tottenham and Blackburn Rovers after making public his desire to play in the Premiership.

The 30-year-old, who played four matches for his country at the last World Cup, is combining a New Year's holiday in London during the Spanish season's winter break with talks with Premiership clubs about a move to England.

He has told Sociedad coach Raynald Denoueix that he does not want to negotiate an extension to his contract, which runs out on June 30, and instead will leave the club where he made his professional debut more than 10 years ago to play in the Premiership.

Although Tottenham's caretaker coach, David Pleat, also has his sights on Sheffield United's Michael Brown, the availability of De Pedro will allow him to strengthen a midfield that has been without Jamie Redknapp, Darren Anderton and Christian Ziege through injury.

However, Forest's manager, Paul Hart, said Reid, 21, who has scored 10 goals for the First Division side, was not available at the price Spurs had offered - understood to be around £3 million. "They have made us an offer, but it's nowhere near the valuation we have of Andy," Hart said.

"It's by no means certain we're going to sell Andy and I'm merely reacting to questions which are put my way. I don't know whether Tottenham will be back, but I'm not interested because we're not actively trying to encourage bids, set up an auction or anything like that. The situation is not of our doing, but I am dealing with it."

De Pedro has also been tracked by Blackburn, who, despite limited finances, will also consider a bid to take Manchester City's disaffected midfielder Eyal Berkovic on loan after Kevin Keegan's refusal to reinstate the Israeli despite his club's dismal recent run.

De Pedro was one of the senior players who took a leading role in Denoueix's side's exceptional run in the Spanish first division last season that earned them second place and a spot in the Champions League.

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From one relegation candidate to another one :D :howler:
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