Tottenham Hotspur have held a long-standing interest in James Tarkowski, who is set to leave Burnley.
That’s according to a report from The Athletic on Monday.
New Spurs boss Antonio Conte seems intent on strengthening his defence, even though the club recruited Cristiano Romero and Emerson Royal as recently as last summer.
Football Insider claimed on Saturday that the north Londoners had set their sights on Serie A duo Matthijs de Ligt and Stefan de Vrij, valued at £63m and £45m respectively. Tarkowski may well be a far cheaper alternative to the Dutch pair, with his contract due to expire in June.
As per The Athletic, Burnley have accepted that Tarkowski will not be renewing his deal, so it looks as if he’ll be leaving the Clarets in the summer.
Tottenham, West Ham and Newcastle are named as Premier League admirers, but there’s also expected to be interest from big clubs in Italy and Spain.
The 29-year-old will reportedly be guided by his desire to force a way back into the England squad as he chooses his next move.
Would Tarkowski be a good signing for Spurs? To be fair, this is a player with a vast amount of Premier League experience, having racked up 171 top-flight appearances during his time at Turf Moor.
He hasn’t exactly been a ball-playing centre-half under Sean Dyche, ranking in the third percentile among positional peers for passes completed and the 35th for progressive passes (via FBRef). However, he is in the 99th percentile when it comes to aerial duels won, and he actually boasts a similar statistical profile to Romero.
He seems to relish a physical battle, with Leeds striker Patrick Bamford accusing him of performing a ‘jiu jitsu’ move back in August.
Going by those comments and the aforementioned statistics, the 29-year-old Burnley defender is a monstrous presence who could help to turn Spurs into a rock-solid unit at the back.
In other news, Spurs have received a boost in their pursuit of a top target.
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