Fourth striker options curtailed

Last updated : 20 January 2005 By Alistair Murray

The trio of strikers linked with possible moves to White Hart Lane all found new clubs in the opening days of the January transfer window.

Meanwhile, Wayne Routledge and Steed Malbranque have inched closer to leaving their respective clubs, with Spurs believed to be monitoring the progress of both individuals.

Routledge has rebuffed a new five-year contract offer from Crystal Palace, which was set to treble the winger's wages to £12,000 a week. The England Under-21 international's current deal expires at the end of the season, but because Routledge won’t be 23 yet the south London club can recoup a tribunal fee in the summer.

Belgian-born winger Malbranque wants to stay at Fulham until the end of his contract in 2007 - but according to reports emanating from France, the Cottagers are keen to cash in on the player.

Spurs will not be allowed to lure any players from Stamford Bridge this month, according to Chelsea assistant manager, Steve Clarke. Recent newspaper reports had linked Tottenham to possible moves for several Chelsea youngsters including England's Joe Cole.

"It doesn't matter if a club makes an offer or not because there's no one going out," said Clarke.