Tottenham Hotspur have emerged as the frontrunners to sign Inter Milan defender Stefan De Vrij.
The Lowdown: Tottenham target defender
In light of Tottenham’s very poor defensive record in the Premier League, with 21 goals conceded, the most of any side in the top eight and more than relegation-threatened West Ham, there have been numerous reports linking them to centre-backs in January.
Inter Live have previously indicated that Antonio Conte was plotting a £43m bid for Alessandro Bastoni, while his Inter teammate De Vrij has also been linked for some time, with his contract due to expire with the Serie A side at the end of the season.
The Latest: De Vrij update
While stating that Conte is a huge admirer of the 6 foot 2 titan, Football Insider now report that Tottenham are in pole position for his signature, with a January deal a possibility.
Atletico Madrid are also in the mix, but Conte is “close” with the player from their time at Inter and has “already spoken” to him about a winter move.
In the past, a deal for the Dutchman would have set a potential suitor back £40m, but he could be available at a “knockdown price”, given his aforementioned contract situation.
The Verdict: Get it done
The 30-year-old, labelled a “world beater” by Noel Whelan when linked to Spurs last year, would be a fantastic signing who the Spurs boss knows he can trust, having won the league at Inter during their spell there.
It is no secret that the Lilywhites are struggling defensively this season, failing to keep a clean sheet since a 2-0 victory against Everton in mid October, so a new option at the back is definitely required.
Former Lazio defender Mauricio has hailed the enforcer as a ‘monster‘, while also describing him as having ‘excellent technique’, which could account for his 89.9% pass completion average per 90 over the past year, placing him in the 90th percentile compared to his positional peers.
This season, the £117k-per-week earner has featured 16 times in all competitions for Inter, who have operated using a back three in every match, meaning he would also take no time at all to adjust to Conte’s chosen style.