Spurs pluck 8m Bassong out of Toon

TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp yesterday moved to patch up his injury-ridden back line by agreeing an &pound;8m deal for Newcastle defender Sebastien Bassong.<br /><br />The 23-year-old has admitted he is leaving St James&rsquo; Park following the Magpies&rsquo; relegation to the Championship, and is thought to have passed a medical at Spurs. <br /><br />Redknapp, meanwhile, needs cover at centre-back, with Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Dawson both injured while Ledley King is a doubt for the Premier League opener against Liverpool.<br /><br />&ldquo;I like him very much. He is young with a good future,&rdquo; Redknapp said of Bassong. &ldquo;The chairman is talking with Newcastle. I don&rsquo;t get involved on that side of it. I identify a player and the chairman does everything else. You have to keep strengthening the squad if you can and moving forward. Jonathan Woodgate has got an injury and Michael Dawson, who did terrific for us last season, is also injured and he is going to miss the start of the season.&rdquo;<br /><br />Bassong admitted he had to leave Newcastle to further his career.<br /><br />&ldquo;I have always said that I wanted to play in the Premier League and that wasn&rsquo;t possible with Newcastle,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I want to play in future World Cups and African Cup of Nations competitions with Cameroon. That is made more difficult if you are not playing at the higher level.&rdquo;<br /><br />Bassong is the second player to be sold this summer by Newcastle, following striker Obafemi Martins&rsquo; move to Wolfsburg, as owner Mike Ashley looks to cut the wage bill in an attempt to find a buyer.<br /><br />Local businessman Barry Moat, who has close links with former temporary manager Alan Shearer, is thought to be the leading contender to buy the club, which is on the market for &pound;100m.