Jose Mourinho claimed only one week into his return to Stamford Bridge that Spurs will challenge for the league title this season, placing a lot of faith in his young protege Andre Villas-Boas. 

But how realistic is this claim? For that to happen, Tottenham would have to make a lot of high-calibre additions, something which is not likely with Daniel Levy at the helm, who prefers to sign younger talent with the potential for a higher re-sale value. 

The most recent example of this policy is the signing of the German under-21s captain, Lewis Holtby.

Having said this, Tottenham have been linked with some top players this summer, with Paulinho being mentioned much more frequently over the previous week. 

The fee quoted is rumoured to be around £17 million, which represents a significant outlay for the Lily Whites. On top of this, he is a midfielder, which is not the priority position for Spurs this transfer window. Tottenham need to invest a lot of money in their strike force if they are to stand a chance of getting the elusive Champions League qualification. So if Levy is willing to invest £17million in a midfielder, is this a sign of things to come?

Nobody knows, however, what this rumoured signing would demonstrate is a large investment of trust in Villas-Boas, who rejected PSG last week

Villas-Boas ultimately wants to play 4-3-3 and Paulinho would facilitate this. Furthermore, Paulinho would be a typical Villas-Boas signing, being Brazilian and a good technical player. Villas-Boas and Franco Baldini both do a lot of scouting in Brazil and do not under-estimate the fact that he speaks Portuguese. 

So if Villas-Boas is given the backing that he never got at Chelsea, this would signify a large change at Tottenham who have not had a long-term manager for a very long time. 

If the Spurs manager could sign who he wanted and set up a team suited completely to his 4-3-3 philosophy, then don't doubt the ability of Spurs to challenge in a few years time.

However, this is a challenge of the highest difficulty for the White Hart Lane outfit. Levy cannot provide this backing without the necessary funding. 

The new stadium will represent a large outlay and will undoubtedly result in some limits on transfers, no matter how shrewd Levy is. 

With a capacity of only 36,000 and a lack of Champions League football in the short term, the North London team will never be able to compete financially with the elite of Europe. 

On top of this, in order to sign the very best players, they will have to pay a premium for not being in the Champions League, as seen by Damiao preferring Marseille and forcing up his potential wages. 

The proposed financial fair play rules would make it harder for Spurs to break into the top four and eventually challenge for the title until their new stadium has been built and payed off. 

And it is easy to see how difficult that has been for Arsenal who have only just finished paying off their debt and can start to invest.

So despite Levy doing the best he can, signing some top players and assuring AVB that Bale will stay, Tottenham won't be able to challenge at the top for a few seasons. 

Even though significant obstacles exist, have no doubt that Spurs are a team on the up. Mourinho is known for his sparky comments, but he does know what he is talking about. 

With a young core side of Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen, Lewis Holtby, Gareth Bale, Mousa Dembele and Sandro, it would only take a few additions to make Tottenham a top side. 

But for this to happen, they will have to compete with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and the Manchester clubs for these players but without the funding and resources that these teams have. 

Spurs may have to wait a few years yet, but don't doubt their potential to challenge.



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