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Spurs' bid for Crouch hits a block

TOTTENHAM'S pursuit of Portsmouth forward Peter Crouch hit a stumbling block on Sunday over the transfer fee, but Spurs manager Harry Redknapp is continuing to chase Real Madrid's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar as an alternative striking option.

Redknapp said that signing both is unlikely unless he can raise funds by selling Darren Bent, who is looking to leave.

Crouch's return to Spurs nine years after the club sold him would reunite the England international with both Redknapp and fellow striker Jermain Defoe.

"They want to sell him, it's common knowledge they need to sell him," Redknapp said. "I don't think they're crazy demands - it's a fair deal and his wages are fine. It's just agreeing a fee is a stumbling block. It's up to us whether we are going to pay what Portsmouth want for him."

Redknapp, who had two stints as Portsmouth manager, initially brought Crouch to the south coast club from Liverpool last July. Since taking charge at Spurs in October, Redknapp has already bought Defoe from Portsmouth.

Portsmouth manager Paul Hart said selling the 28-year-old Crouch would help to balance the books following a period of heavy spending under Redknapp.

Tottenham told Real Madrid that it remains interested in signing Huntelaar as it weighs up whether to sign the 25-year-old Netherlands striker or Crouch.

"It's one or another unless we have big offers. Darren (Bent) is looking to go but it's up to people to make the offer," Redknapp said.

"My interest in Huntelaar is serious, definitely. We have spoken to them and the fee is somewhere between 15 and 17 million pounds (US$24.6 and US$27.9 million) I don't know which is more likely to happen.

"Maybe one of them, maybe none of them."

Redknapp is also chasing former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira, who is currently at Inter Milan.

"He would bring presence to the club and the team, stature and a big personality," Redknapp said.

"He's won everything and he would be fantastic."


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