Spurs fall for Son after failed Berahino courtship

Son Heung Min, the South Korean striker who has 29 goals in 87 appearances for Leverkusen, says bold and daring is his style.
Son Heung Min, the South Korean striker who has 29 goals in 87 appearances for Leverkusen, says bold and daring is his style.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Mauricio Pochettino has likened Tottenham Hotspur's drawn-out pursuit of a striker to the quest for true love, which never runs smooth.

"It is never easy, there are always a lot of players around the world that you can sign," the Spurs manager said. "But it's like when you are in love with a lady - there are a lot of women around the world but you want only one.

"And in football, it is the same."

For Pochettino, it has seemed as though West Bromwich Albion's Saido Berahino is the one.

Tottenham have had offers of £18 million (S$38.8 million) and £22 million for the striker rejected.

But it remains to be seen if Spurs will continue to pursue the 22-year-old after his club ruled out the prospect of Berahino leaving them during this transfer window.

Moreover, South Korea forward Son Heung Min, 23, began his love affair with White Hart Lane yesterday, after signing from Bayer Leverkusen in a five-year-deal reportedly worth £22 million.

He scored 29 goals in 87 appearances for the German team and has also poached 11 goals in 44 international appearances.

Already, he is keen to impress the Tottenham faithful.

"I'm looking forward to perform for the Spurs fans," he told the club's Twitter feed. "Bold and daring - this is how I like to play."

Spurs' opponents today are arguably suffering from a case of unrequited love.

Everton's England international defender John Stones has set his sights on a move to champions Chelsea but has had his transfer request turned down.

Toffees manager Roberto Martinez said he expects the England defender to forget his suitors.

"We have the perfect environment and the perfect place for John," he said yesterday.

"Forget about the speculation, forget about the transfer.

"Nothing is going to happen so everyone can relax.

"It's been an emotional time for everyone but John is one of our most loved assets and he'll be ready (to start against Tottenham)."

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2015, with the headline 'Spurs fall for Son after failed Berahino courtship'. Print Edition | Subscribe