Tottenham Hotspur face stiff competition from Everton to sign Turkey full-back Zeki Celik, according to The Times.
Both Premier League clubs find themselves jostling for position in the race to sign Southampton star Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg this summer, but Carlo Ancelotti has now turned his attention to another of Jose Mourinho’s top targets.
Celik has spent the past two seasons as Christopher Galtier’s first-choice right-back at Lille, earning back-to-back top four finishes as a result.
The 14-cap Turkish international has been earmarked by Mourinho as a player he wants to add to his squad in the summer.
Recent reports have revealed that the Lilywhites will let Serge Aurier leave north London and join AC Milan, providing that they sign Celik as his replacement, with the Serie A giants preparing a £15m bid for the 27-year-old.
The 23-year-old played 23 games in Ligue 1 this season, supplying two assists, making 2.3 tackles per game, averaging 1.1 interceptions and completing 1.4 clearances on average (via WhoScored).
While Spurs are also in the running to sign Norwich City’s Max Aarons, the Turk may actually be a better option, as he has experience of playing Champions League football, which is something Aarons cannot offer. Also, he is only a couple of years older than his Canaries counterpart and could be a regular starter for the next decade.
Tottenham will likely need a new defender anyway as Aurier has fallen foul of club officials in recent months and could be on his way out the door. An aggressive tackler and counter-attacking threat on the right flank, Celik has shown that he can play at the top levels of the game.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy must make a move sooner rather than later before Mourinho misses out on his key man.
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