After sending him packing almost three years ago, Tottenham Hotspur have made an unexpected attempt to bring Teddy Sheringham back to the club. With his 40th birthday just over two months away, the evergreen man of English football could be about to embark on another new challenge.
Sheringham is understood to be astounded by Tottenham’s renewed interest, made known by Daniel Levy, the chairman, to the former England forward’s advisers this week, but they are not the only club sounding him out. Blackburn Rovers made an approach last weekend while West Ham United are considering offering him a one-year contract extension that would enable him to play beyond his 41st birthday. If nothing else, the unexpected emergence of rival suitors should spur his present club into action.
Sheringham rejected Blackburn’s advances as he has no wish to return to the North West at this stage of his career, but he may find Tottenham harder to turn down. The 39-year-old is still regarded as a favourite son at White Hart Lane, where he scored 130 goals in two spells from 1992-1997 and 2001-2003, and a third stop-off before retirement would have obvious attractions.
Levy initially inquired about bringing Sheringham back for the rest of the season, but, when told that West Ham — who spent £7.5 million bringing in Dean Ashton from Norwich City this week — were preparing to open negotiations about a new contract, did not rule out offering him a 1½-year deal. Given the faith invested in him after he was shown the door by Portsmouth 18 months ago, Sheringham would prefer to repay that loyalty by ending his career at Upton Park, but is prepared to listen to offers.
Tottenham’s approach to a player they let go for nothing is nothing short of staggering, not only because of that U-turn but also because it represents a complete contradiction of their transfer policy. Martin Jol has made a habit of signing young English players since he took over as head coach 15 months ago, with Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone and Aaron Lennon among the arrivals, but it has been a long time since Sheringham fell into that category. After failing to break down a dogged Aston Villa defence last weekend, some fans may feel that they have pressed the panic button.