Antonio Conte’s request for a top international centre-half led Tottenham Hotspur to approach Juventus over Matthijs de Ligt, Italian outlet Calciomercato have revealed.
It was confirmed last week that Bayern Munich had signed De Ligt in a deal worth €77million (or £65.6million).
Spurs have already added to their centre-back ranks this summer with the signing of Clement Lenglet from Barcelona.
Fabio Paratici apparently made a concerted effort to land De Ligt after Conte asked for an ‘international-level’ defender.
The Dutchman was the first name on their shortlist and Paratici wanted to establish the ‘feasibility’ of a potential deal.
In the end, though, Spurs had ‘no intention’ of matching the kind of money Juventus were demanding and Bayern were willing to pay.
They subsequently signed Lenglet, but ‘it is not over yet’ because ‘another defender may arrive’.
Evening Standard journalist Dan Kilpatrick’s tweet on Monday seems to support that claim, as he said: ‘Maybe Spurs will still sign another centre-half’.
Their hand may be forced, he says, if Japhet Tanganga and Joe Rodon both seal exits.
On a collective level, meanwhile, he boasts Serie A, Coppa Italia and Eredivisie medals from his time with Juve and Ajax.
It remains to be seen who Spurs might target next – a new name, or a long-term candidate. Perhaps they could revisit potential deals for RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol, deemed too expensive at first, or Villarreal’s Pau Torres.
There may be a sense that this is the final piece of the puzzle for Conte ahead of his first full season in charge.
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