With Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho reportedly eyeing a new midfielder in January, one left-field name has emerged this week…
According to Primer Tiempo, Spurs are one of several teams keen on signing Zenit St Petersburg powerhouse Wilmar Barrios next month.
It’s claimed that they will also face competition from Premier League rivals Newcastle United as well as Serie A leaders AC Milan.
The 27-year-old is said to be open to moving to one of Europe’s top divisions, though an exit seems more likely in the summer rather than the winter.
Barrios, who is valued at just £14.4m by Transfermarkt, could prove to be an interesting option in the engine room considering he bares similarities to the playing style of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Indeed, we could see a shift to a double pivot that would allow either Tanguy Ndombele or Giovani Lo Celso additional freedom to roam further up the pitch.
It’s clear that the ‘Special One’ doesn’t fancy Harry Winks in the role amid speculation over his future whilst Moussa Sissoko reminded everyone of his shortcomings during the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool on Wednesday evening.
He made only 56% of his 25 passing attempts, won just 38% of his duels, and lost possession 16 times, via SofaScore.
Barrios has proven to be a better protector of the ball across the Russian top-flight and the Champions League having averaged 2.1 tackles, 1.9 interceptions and a passing accuracy of 88.5% across 22 starts, as per WhoScored.
It’s not the first time the Colombian enforcer has been linked with a move to north London either as Mauricio Pochettino reportedly wanted him in 2018 from Boca Juniors.
A fee of £25m was being linked then.
Some supporters may even remember the livewire from the 2018 World Cup when Barrios appeared to headbutt Jordan Henderson in England’s last-16 clash.
Former Celtic scout Neil McGuinness, the man who unearthed Virgil van Dijk, wrote about the Zenit star prior to the tournament, and said:
“He operates mainly in the holding midfield role but rather than just being able to break up play – which he does very well – he also has great technical ability and skill on the ball. A player with good balance and agility, he can float past players with a drop of the shoulder and astutely anticipates opponent movements. Barrios is strongly suited to European football.”
Perhaps the time has finally come for the midfield monster to make the switch to the Premier League.
AND in other news, Spurs talisman endured a HUGE night to forget in Liverpool defeat…