Holland denies Spurs rumours
MATT Holland last night denied he had expressed an interest in joining Tottenham Hotspur, writes Derek Davis.Rogue internet reports quoted Holland, but the Ipswich Town captain insisted he had not been asked by anyone about wanting to join the north London club until we spoke.
MATT Holland last night denied he had expressed an interest in joining Tottenham Hotspur, writes Derek Davis.
Rogue internet reports quoted Holland, but the Ipswich Town captain insisted he had not been asked by anyone about wanting to join the north London club until we spoke.
Holland told me: "I have not heard of any interest from Spurs and I have not said anything about them at all. I don't know where this has come from and I have not spoken to anyone about them."
Blues boss Joe Royle confirmed no interest has yet been expressed for Holland and that he is reluctant to lose him.
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He said: "There is bound to be speculation but I have heard nothing about interest in Matt from other clubs.
"He is someone I would like to keep and we will not be giving him away even if someone came in for him. It is very quiet at the moment, as I expect it to be all month."
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With Glenn Hoddle's future at White Hart Lane under much scrutiny, Spurs may not be the most stable of clubs at the moment and they are only one of half a dozen sides who have been linked with Holland.
Aston Villa was the most credible when Graham Taylor was the manager there after making a bid last summer, but his departure and the stance of the board have muddied the waters.
Middlesbrough are the latest to be reportedly keen on the Irish international and Steve McClaren is known to be an admirer of Holland. But Boro are also hoping to keep midfielder Geremi and have offered £3m to Real Madrid, who are reported to want £9m for the Cameroon international, who has been a success on loan at the Riverside.
Charlton are known to be keen but he doesn't fit into their wage structure and Everton are known to have considered making a move for the 29-year-old.
Harry Redknapp has shown a renewed interest and Portsmouth have told Paul Merson his contract will not be extended. It would be ironic if Pompey won his signature as Redknapp released Holland from West Ham before he made his way back to the top flight via Bournemouth and now Ipswich.
Sunderland are another to be linked, most probably because of the Mick McCarthy connection, but they have no money to buy players and Holland would only choose a Premiership club anyway.
The Town player of the year is one of Ipswich Town's most saleable assets and as one of the top earners his leaving would further trim the wage bill to nearer the £5m the club has committed itself to.
But Holland has shown great loyalty to Ipswich and is popular with players and fans alike and is a player Joe Royle would prefer to keep – but that would only be possible if a number of those on free transfers were to be picked up elsewhere.
Holland is realistic enough to know Ipswich would accept a decent offer for him and the lure of him rejoining the Premiership with the right club would be difficult for him to ignore.
Holland is ignoring all speculation and is focussing on the Republic of Ireland's two European Championship qualifiers next month. He will make his way to Dublin today for a training camp with Brian Kerr's squad.
He said: "I have not heard about any club interested in me and I'm just concentrating on Ireland and these very important qualifiers. The rest will sort itself out during the summer."