Tottenham transfer news: Centre-back upgrade incoming after Conte holds initial talks to sign Serie A star

Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij Inter Milan Credit: Alamy
Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij Inter Milan Credit: Alamy

Tottenham remain keen on signing at least one new centre-back in the January transfer window, and it looks like one is very close to being on board.

Spurs have been chasing Inter Milan star Stefan de Vrij ever since Fabio Paratici’s arrival at sporting director, while the subsequent appointment of Antonio Conte only added fuel to that fire.

De Vrij was a key member of the Inter side who won the Serie A title under Conte, prompting the Tottenham boss to sound him out over a potential move to London.

Indeed, the Italian has already spoken to the Netherlands international about a January switch.

A recent report suggested that Inter still want to keep De Vrij, who is out of contract next summer, with a new deal incoming.

However, there remains no sign of that new contract, leaving the defender’s future up in the air.

And now Football Insider reports that Spurs are ready to swoop in the new year.

Their report states that with Inter strapped for cash they’re likely to accept a bargain De Vrij fee in January.

The player was previously valued at £40million but they will not be able to command that sort of figure now.

Conte has long admired De Vrij’s qualities and the defender is versatile enough to play in a back three or a back four.

Indeed, the Tottenham boss attempted to sign the Dutchman back in January. However, Inter did not want to do business at that stage and Spurs ended up signing Clement Lenglet on loan instead.

Tottenham defence in need of upgrades

But having looked defensively sound at the beginning of the season, Conte’s defence now has a habit of conceding first in every game.

That has prompted the Spurs chief to look at defensive upgrades across the board, with Conte also wanting a new right wing-back.

As for De Vrij, the former Feyenoord star has made 15 appearances for Inter this season, 14 of them starts.

Meanwhile, Tottenham also have another Inter star on their radar in the shape of Denzel Dumfries.

The Dutch right-back is considered a massive upgrade on Spurs’ current options in that position and could be available for around £26.1m.

However, if the north London club fail to land Dumfries, they are tipped to try and bring back old boy Kyle Walker-Peters instead.

Tottenham are back in Premier League action on Saturday when they host Leeds in the final game before the World Cup break.

READ MORE: Man Utd target to be granted shock transfer as Tottenham wait in wings

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