Tottenham Hotspur remain interested in long-term central defensive target Milan Skriniar, according to reports…
CBS Sports reporter Ben Jacobs told the ‘Last Word on Spurs’ podcast that the north London outfit were still keen on Antonio Conte’s former Inter Milan colossus but they only appear to be “loosely” in the race, with Premier League rivals Chelsea and Ligue 1 heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain also interested.
It comes a week after the journalist revealed that Skriniar was “a long-standing Spurs target.”
It appears that Conte isn’t finished rebuilding Spurs’ backline just yet, even despite the arrival of Clement Lenglet, who has only joined on a loan deal from Barcelona.
The Italian head coach would surely love to see sporting director Fabio Paratici complete a deal for his former Slovakian monster, though. Just imagine him in the back three alongside the ball-playing Eric Dier and the tough-tackling Cristian Romero.
Both Conte and Skriniar enjoyed success together at the San Siro, where they clinched Inter’s first Scudetto in over a decade. The centre-back played in 32 of their 38 league games, missing three through illness, as per Transfermarkt.
He has since continued to be an absolute rock for the Serie A giants, having featured in 48 matches across all competitions last season, including a Champions League knockout clash against Liverpool, where he kept a clean sheet at Anfield.
According to Skriniar’s former teammate Adam Zilak, the centre-back has the perfect mix of physicality and intelligence and that’s what makes him ever so good.
“Milan combines physicality and footballing intelligence, this is what makes him an incredible defender,” he said to La Gazzetta dello Sport, whilst Eurosport journalist Siavoush Fallahi once dubbed him a “monster.”
And it’s easy to see why the centre-back receives such glowing praise – indeed, he is something of an animal defensively, as well as having that ball-playing nous, too.
Over the last two Serie A campaigns, Skriniar has averaged at least 1.3 tackles and 2.5 clearances per game, highlighting his ability to read the game and act upon it, whilst as per FBref, the Slovakia international ranks inside the top 4% of his positional peers in Europe for passing accuracy (93.2%).
The same statistical website also puts him in the top 4% for non-penalty expected goals (0.10 per 90), meaning he’s a threat in the final third too, and they also liken his profile to that of former Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger and current Manchester City star John Stones, so he may need little time in adapting to the Premier League.
All in all, it would seem that Skriniar is something of a dream signing for Conte this transfer window and whilst they are only “loosely” in the running, it would make sense for Paratici and co to follow up their interest with a formal offer as they aim to seal what would be an incredible signing.
The Tottenham boss would surely love to see his former star at Hotspur Way as their seventh signing of the window before the September 1st deadline, going by the evidence above.