Tottenham Hotspur manager Juande Ramos is expected to target Spanish players for White Hart Lane in January after finally being given control over transfers at the North London club, with the imminent departure of sporting director Damien Comoli from Spurs.
With Comoli due to end his three years at Spurs, former Sevilla coach Ramos has wasted no time in identifying his first Spanish interest, Alvaro Negredo at Almeria, who is joint second-top scorer in La Liga and seen as a good long-term prospect for the Premier League side.
23-year-old Negredo joined Almeria from the Real Madrid second team Castilla in 2007 and has scored 18 goals in 43 appearances for the unfancied Spanish side during his time at the Estadio del Mediterraneo.
Ramos sees Negredo as a better long-term option than England International Darren Bent, who was very much a Comoli purchase and has failed to impress at Tottenham since his £16.5million arrival from Charlton Athletic in 2007.
However, Spurs will face competition from Real Madrid if they do as expected make a January move for Negredo, with Los Merengues having first option on bringing the striker back to the Bernabeu. Which is a possibility if the forward continues to score as freely as he has been for Almeria in La Liga this campaign.
Whether Negredo arrives in the Premier League or not the balance of control passing over to Ramos at White Hart Lane will surely see the departure of Darren Bent in January, with Premiership rivals Sunderland linked to the England man in the summer.