According to the Mirror, Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho has his sights set on raiding Premier League rivals Southampton once again this summer…
It’s claimed that the Portuguese is considering a move for Saints centre-back Jannik Vestergaard ahead of the next transfer window, a year after sealing fellow Dane, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, from the very same club.
The 28-year-old has entered the final 18 months of his current £60k-per-week contract at St Mary’s Stadium, leaving Spurs with a belief that they could land themselves another bargain.
It remains to be seen what sort of fee Vestergaard would command, though he is valued at just £13.5m by Transfermarkt.
A lot of comparisons will be made to the success of Hojbjerg since swapping the south coast for the capital, but instead, Mourinho could be eyeing up a solution to one of his biggest bugbears.
Back in January, Evening Standard reporter Dan Kilpatrick revealed that the Spurs boss was seeking a new centre-back, one that could totally transform their fortunes to the magnitude of that of Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool.
‘Mourinho wants his own transformative signing, a defender who could have the same impact on Spurs as Van Dijk at Liverpool or Ruben Dias at Man City.’
Vestergaard has been likened to the former Saints star, so it would not be a surprise to see him follow in similar footsteps. Martin Keown told talkSPORT: “It’s his passing. It reminds me of Van Dijk.”
The Liverpool monster cost a whopping £75m and has helped guide the Merseyside giants to Champions League and Premier League glory, so evidently, it’s well worth investing in the right defender.
At 6 foot 6 inches, the Denmark international has a very similar commanding frame to that of Van Dijk, on top of Keown making comparisons to his passing ability.
Only one other Saints player has managed a better average WhoScored rating (7.09) for the current campaign, despite all of their recent struggles, whilst he tops the charts for aerials won (3.6 per game) and clearances (four per game).
That only shows his no-nonsense nature. And despite his height, he’s no slouch for speed as outlined when tracking Dominic Calvert-Lewin down earlier this season, via The Athletic.
No other Southampton defender can match his 83.9% passing accuracy either – Van Dijk isn’t too far ahead (89.1% accuracy last season) and only Davinson Sanchez (86% accuracy) is clear from a Spurs perspective.
Vestergaard, dubbed a “role model” by current boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, would also add some leadership to Mourinho’s backline, something that could well be necessary if reports linking club captain Hugo Lloris with an exit to Paris Saint-Germain this summer are true.
If Daniel Levy is to deliver Mourinho that ‘transformative’ signing, then he should probably look no further than a player who is very much in the mould of Van Dijk himself.
AND in other news, Exclusive: Kane told he could be trophy-less legend at Spurs if he stays…