Tottenham Hotspur have been handed a big boost heading into the January transfer window…
It’s believed that the north London side are keen admirers of Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie. During the summer, reliable football.london reporter Alasdair Gold claimed that sporting director Fabio “Paratici adores” the American midfielder, having signed him for Juventus in August 2020.
Reports linking Spurs with a move for the 24-year-old re-emerged last month, with Italian outlet Calciomercato suggesting that the club would try to sign him when the window reopens in January.
Now the Lilywhites have been given their best chance yet to sign him. The same source has now claimed that the Old Lady are prepared to sell McKennie in a bid to fund a move for Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, meaning he is free to leave Turin for around £26m.
With Paratici and manager Antonio Conte still keen to sign the USMNT international, this news will come as a welcome – and pretty substantial – boost to their chances of signing him.
Despite having a wide range of options in the engine room, Spurs continue to be linked with reinforcements in the role, so the Italian head coach may not be happy with what’s available at his disposal.
Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg appear to be the first-choice duo, whilst summer signing Yves Bissouma has struggled to adapt to Conte’s strict demands, so McKennie could prove to be a top-quality alternative, particularly due to his versatility to play in any central role.
“He’s an outstanding talent. In the No.6 or No.8 position he has the mentality, a real working mentality that you need. And he’s brave on the ball as well. He can be one of the best midfielders in the Bundesliga,” once claimed his former Schalke 04 boss David Wagner.
McKennie has certainly carried that fine form over to Italy as ex-Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo hailed him as a “rock” for playing through injuries and putting his body on the line – a quality that will undoubtedly have Conte purring.
Currently at the World Cup in Qatar, the Stars and Stripes brute is an “underrated” player that can do it all, ranking inside the top 11% of his positional peers across Europe for non-penalty goals per 90, whilst also averaging 1.52 blocks, 1.33 aerial duels won and 1.18 tackles per 90 too (via FBref).
As both Hojbjerg and Bentancur are considered to be more defensively-sound options, McKennie could be that small spark that Spurs need in attacking midfield.
Now that Paratici has been given the green light, he should probably chance his arm with a bid in January.