La Liga Transfer Rumours
According to reports in the Madrid sports paper AS, Spurs face competition from Valencia in their bid to sign Carlos Kameni from Espanyol…
It is claimed that the Cameroon international goalkeeper has become the number one target for the Mestalla outfit, and is seen as the perfect successor to Santi Cañizares. Valencia coach Ronald Koeman is said to be unconvinced by Timo Hildebrand's potential to adequately fill the number one slot at Valencia in the long term.
According to AS, Koeman's first choice was the PSV keeper Heurelho Gomes, but the Valencia board felt that the 14 million euros price tag was prohibitive. With Koeman's long term future at the club in doubt, Soler et al are unwilling to support the Dutch coach in the transfer market. Aware that a new keeper is needed, the Valencia hierarchy feel that Carlos Kameni's availability at 6 million euros makes him the preferred option. (Click for Kameni Profile)
Kameni has suddenly found himself in demand since the Espanyol sporting director, Paco Herrera, declared in a radio interview that after failing to convince the keeper to sign a new contract, it was likely that he would be leaving the club.
24-year-old Kameni has a release clause in his current contract that can be triggered by a 6m euro fee. Espanyol had tried to ward off competition by opening talks over a new contract as the player's current deal runs out in 2010.
However, the Espanyol director said "I spoke with Kameni's representative and he told me that the approach he has received in the last month means that it would be difficult for us to prevent him leaving for another club.”
That approach was thought to have been made by Tottenham Hotspur as Juande Ramos seeks a replacement for Paul Robinson in the Spurs goal. According to reports in the Spanish press, the White Hart Lane club are eager to get Kameni to sign a pre-contract agreement this week in order to avoid a fierce bidding war for the player's services in June.
However, it would appear that Paco Herrera's very public admission, that the player is effectively up for grabs, has alerted the likes of Valencia and Manchester United.
La Liga Review hears that Espanyol have lined up a cut-price replacement should Kameni depart: Didier Ovono of Gabon. Ovono currently plays for Georgian side Dinamo Tbilisi and his possible recruitment would add to Espanyol's record of signing African goalkeepers.
Cameroonian Thomas N'kono joined Espanyol in the wake of his impressive performances at the 1982 World Cup and he is currently Espanyol's goalkeeping coach and Kameni's mentor.