Two sources are backing Tottenham to invest heavily in a pair of problem positions this month, with one report claiming a £26m signing could be used as bait to help pull off a fantastic double coup.
Spurs have limped out of the gate post-World Cup, drawing with Brentford and losing to Aston Villa. Tottenham fell behind on both occasions to extend their streak of conceding the first goal to a remarkable 10 matches in a row.
Hugo Lloris was at fault for Villa’s opener on Sunday and a Sky Sports reporter now believes the veteran Frenchman will be moved on next summer.
However, Tottenham’s penchant for falling behind is by no means solely Lloris’ fault. Antonio Conte operates with a back five and at least two holding midfielders each week, but the defensive solidity that system should provide hasn’t been forthcoming.
The Daily Star recently reported Conte wants assurances he’ll be backed financially in the market before penning a new contract.
The Italian is in discussions over a new deal, though negotiations could hasten if he’s allowed to sign several high profile additions in the coming weeks.
Two positions could be addressed in north London – right wing-back and centre-half.
The Star claimed a £35m move for Sporting Lisbon’s Pedro Porro is ramping up. However, the latest from Italy puts Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries in the frame instead. What’s more, he could reportedly be joined at Spurs by teammate Stefan de Vrij.
Man Utd, Chelsea plans for Dumfries at risk
Tottenham have enjoyed great success when plundering the Italian market. With Conte and Fabio Paratici pulling the strings, it’s no surprise they’ve been able to secure superb deals for the likes of Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur.
Dumfries has long been linked with a move to the Premier League with Man Utd and Chelsea admiring his talents as much as Spurs. The Dutchman, 26, heightened his chances of securing a big-money move with a series of marauding displays for his country in Qatar.
However, Chelsea are splashing the cash in other areas at present, while funds at Old Trafford this month are widely reported to be in short supply.
That means a Man Utd move for Dumfries may have to wait until the summer, though the player may have already moved by that stage.
Inter are open to a high profile exit in January as they seek to balance the books. Dumfries is understood to be the player they’ve determined can leave.
Tottenham could sweeten the deal with £26m flop
Now, Italian journalist, Marco Barzaghi, has claimed Spurs could include £26m flop Emerson Royal as a makeweight to help lure Dumfries the other way. The Brazilian is only 18 months removed from arriving from Barcelona, though is yet to justify his price tag.
In fact, Emerson is among a cluster of right wing-backs Conte can call upon at present, though neither he, Matt Doherty or Djed Spence look up to scratch.
“Dumfries had a star turn at the World Cup, with goals and assists,” Barzagh told his YouTube channel (via Sport Witness).
“Given the prices that are circulating, €60m could fit, but even €50m could be good. A bidding war cannot be ruled out with Chelsea, Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
“[Bayern] could offer the Moroccan flanker Mazraoui as a quid pro quo, but he costs and could fetch around 20 million. Tottenham is also on the player and could offer Emerson Royal.”
Conte turning to those he trusts
A second report from InterLive.it back up Spurs’ interest in Dumfries. However, they also state a move for centre-half and fellow Dutchman De Vrij could be on the cards.
The 30-year-old was a key cog in Conte’s defence while at the San Siro. De Vrij is out of contract at season’s end and as such, the current window represents Inter’s final chance to cash in.
The report states a combined bid of around £40m could be tabled for both Dumfries and De Vrij if Spurs opt against including Emerson. However, despite Inter’s delicate position, it’s claimed they’d hold out for more.
If Tottenham are serious about backing Conte and thus improving their chances of him signing a new deal, moves for two players he knows well would make perfect sense.
Given Spurs have conceded the first goal in 10 straight matches, moves for two defenders who’d become immediate starters is beginning to look a necessity, rather than a luxury.
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