With Kieran Trippier firmly established as Tottenham’s first-choice right-back and both Serge Aurier and Kyle Walker-Peters providing quality back up, it would be fair to assume that Mauricio Pochettino is not in the market for a new full-back, but a recent report from Milan News suggests that is far from the case.
Indeed, according to the report, Spurs are one on a handful of clubs monitoring Raoul Bellanova’s situation at AC Milan, with his contract situation giving interested parties reason to believe he could be available in 2019.
The report claims Bellanova is some distance off agreeing an extension on his current deal, which is due to expire in June this year, and Spurs, Manchester City, Juventus, Bologna and Sassuolo are all hoping to steal the 18-year-old away from the San Siro.
Bellanova is a product of Milan’s academy and a natural marauding full-back, and the fact he has generated so much interest from outside the club suggests he is a talent to watch in the future.
Pochettino has proven his willingness to invest in the long-term strategy through the promotion of youth, and a deal which saw Bellanova move to north London would hand him another wonderkid to nurture.
At just 18-years-old, Bellanova is far from ready to step up into the first-team at Spurs, but in an ideal world he will be ready to replace Trippier when he comes of age in a few years time.
Trippier’s slight downturn in form since his reputation spiked at the World Cup has, often unfairly, resulted in scathing criticism from Spurs supporters. Those who have been eager to criticise the full-back may be willing Pochettino to replace him in the summer, but the arrival of Bellanova would certainly not be designed to satisfy those demands.
Bellanova would be signed as a long-term project for Pochettino, working closely alongside him on the training ground and embedding him slowly into the side to prepare him for a role as the club’s first-choice full-back.
Daniel Levy’s shrewd negotiating skills have been a consistent feature of Tottenham’s activity in the transfer market in recent years and the decision to sign the AC Milan prodigy would represent another cunning swoop to add to his collection.
With Bellanova’s current deal set to expire in the summer, Spurs can approach him regarding a pre-contract agreement this month, and if Levy manages to fend off competition to secure his signature he could hand Pochettino a perfect long-term replacement for Trippier.
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