Tottenham Hotspur could be lining up a bargain move to solve their defensive crisis this summer…
According to Torino Granata, Spurs are among the teams interested in signing soon-to-be free-agent Nikola Maksimovic as his contract at Napoli is set to expire.
It’s thought that the chances of the 29-year-old renewing his current deal at the Stadio San Paolo are next to nothing, therefore he’s rather likely to be available for free come to the end of the season.
The north London outfit will face competition from Premier League rivals West Ham and a whole host of other teams across Europe, including Serie A front-runners Inter Milan, Porto and AS Roma.
Spurs have made the addition of a new defensive leader a top priority this summer, as per the ever-reliable Alasdair Gold at football.london, and someone with Maksimovic’s vast experience could fit the bill.
Following Sunday’s draw with Newcastle, Jose Mourinho’s side have now dropped a whopping 15 points from winning positions this season. They have held the lead in 21 of their 30 league games, but have only come away with a victory in 14 of those matches.
This largely has been down to individual mistakes and defensive errors, even despite Spurs holding the third-tightest defence in the division – as Gold explains, ‘there has been a clear lack of cohesion at times in the backline and leadership.’
Eric Dier’s inconsistencies have seen him axed from the starting XI, being snubbed by Mourinho in six straight league games, whilst Davinson Sanchez gave us a reminder of his calamitous ways, allowing the Magpies to equalise late on and Toby Aldweireld has a dubious future in north London right now.
As far as solutions go, signing a 25-cap Serbia international that has played 132 times in the Italian top-flight and 41 times across both European competitions certainly seems like huge value for Spurs, especially as he’s still worth just shy of £11m, as per Transfermarkt.
It’s low-risk and won’t cost Daniel Levy anything in terms of a transfer fee.
Current Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti is a fan of Maksimovic, having managed him at Napoli. He said in 2018: “He has no problems. I am satisfied, he is an excellent defender, complete, flexible and fast, he can play both centre-right and centre-left.”
The 6 foot 4 monster has largely played a bit-part role this campaign (only 12 starts), sitting behind Kostas Manolas and Kalidou Koulibaly in the pecking order, so he could well benefit from a fresh start in the Premier League and at this point, Spurs are getting desperate.
Given his experience and the praise from one of the game’s top managers, Maksimovic could certainly fill a hole in north London. He shouldn’t be the only addition at the back, but for a low-risk and short-term fix, the Serbian makes a lot of sense.
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