Tottenham Hotspur have been tipped to make several moves during the January transfer window and that should hardly come as much of a surprise given Antonio Conte’s history and the need to get back on track under the Italian’s stewardship.
The north Londoners have slipped to ninth place in the Premier League after the 52-year-old drew 0-0 to Everton in his first domestic game in charge.
Conte will be most known for his stint at Chelsea, where he won the league title and also secured an FA Cup, so chairman Daniel Levy and sporting director Fabio Paratici will be hoping that he can end their near 14-year wait for silverware.
According to The Sun, the Italian boss will get a war chest of around £150m to spend.
The Italian supremo will need to get to work this winter, so Football FanCast have looked into Spurs’ potential XI should he complete a masterclass with as many as three new additions…
Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris
As current club captain and the longest-serving player at the club, Hugo Lloris isn’t going anywhere in January, especially as the World Cup winner has kept his place following Conte’s arrival.
His contract is up in the summer, however, and that may need to be resolved in the coming months.
Centre-backs: Eric Dier, Cristian Romero, Stefan de Vrij*
We know that Conte likes to utilise a three-man defence and one of his former centre-backs is reportedly a top priority – Stefan de Vrij.
That’s according to Football Insider, who believe is rated at £40m, so Paratici may need to fork out a substantial amount to secure the Italian’s Serie A-winning star.
The Dutchman, dubbed a “monster” by ex-Lazio teammate Mauricio, would join summer signing from Atalanta, Cristian Romero, and probably Eric Dier in the backline, meaning full-back Ben Davies, who has been utilised in a ‘Cesar Azpilicueta’ role is dropped.
And there are no places for Davinson Sanchez, Joe Rodon or Japhet Tanganga – the latter two may need a loan, as a result of de Vrij’s arrival.
Wing-backs: Sergio Reguilon, Emerson Royal
The wing-backs in the current squad are self-explanatory as they pretty much select themselves, with Sergio Reguilon on the left and Emerson Royal on the right.
Matt Doherty is another option to consider, he can play either role if need be. Similarly, there is Ryan Sessegnon, who has returned to training this week following injury to provide further depth on the left.
Midfield: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Franck Kessie*, Tanguy Ndombele
There could be a second new addition in midfield as long-linked Franck Kessie arrives in north London early. His contract at AC Milan is set to expire and Spurs are looking increasingly likely to be his next destination.
The Italian giants won’t want a player who is moving elsewhere lingering around the club, so they could try and reach an early agreement with Tottenham.
He is set to cost €10m (£8m) per season in wages, as per journalist Rudy Galetti, and may not cost a penny upfront.
He will then surely join Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Tanguy Ndombele in the engine room, meaning Oliver Skipp, unfortunately, makes way and has to settle for a place on the bench alongside Dele Alli and Giovani Lo Celso.
Forwards: Harry Kane, Dusan Vlahovic*
Harry Kane was back in form for England this week, notching back-to-back hat-tricks and he should remain in the starting XI but if Paratici manages to seal a move for one of Europe’s most exciting young talents in Dusan Vlahovic, then it’s going to be hard not to start him even if Conte has Heung-min Son available at his disposal.
It would be very difficult to start all three in the same system, too.
According to The Sun, Spurs have been told that they can sign the Serbia and Fiorentina talisman this winter but only if they fork out a whopping £70m. Although, his name will not go away in N17, so he could well be a firm target for Conte and Paratici.
Paratici could completely transform Spurs’ XI to hand the Lilywhites tactician a dream lineup and in total, it may cost around £110m.
AND in other news, Antonio Conte handed Spurs injury boost ahead of Leeds clash…