Tottenham Hotspur are in talks over a potential deal to sign Yannick Carrasco before the transfer deadline on Thursday night…
That’s according to the Telegraph’s chief football correspondent Jason Burt, who claims that Spurs manager Antonio Conte has long admired the Belgian international and is attempting to strike a deal before the end of the summer window.
It’s also believed the Lilywhites tried to sign the 28-year-old from Atletico Madrid on deadline day in January but the LaLiga outfit were unwilling to sell him at that point.
Carrasco has a release clause in the region of £51.2m but last time, the Spaniards were looking for around £25m to let him leave and the player has made no secret of his desire to one day play in the Premier League.
Interestingly, the report goes on to state that the 6 foot 1 dynamo would be utilised as a right wing-back as further competition for the divisive Emerson Royal; someone who Conte was reportedly not keen on earlier this year, as per The Times.
In Carrasco, a winger by trade, the Italian could well be seeing his next Ivan Perisic, who under his stewardship went from being a winger all his career to a wing-back at Inter Milan – and now the pair have reunited in north London with the Croatian still acting as his first-choice left wing-back.
The Belgium star is a hugely versatile talent as shown by the five different roles he played for Atletico last season.
Across 44 appearances, he was deployed on both flanks – both as a wing-back and as a natural winger – as well as upfront as a striker. He delivered six goals and seven assists, per Transfermarkt.
FBref even liken his statistical profile to that of Perisic, so it’s easy to see why Conte would be ever so keen to land him in a late move this week.
When compared to other wing-backs across Europe, the £42.5m-rated wizard ranks within the top 2% for non-penalty goals (0.14), the top 2% for shot-creating actions (3.76) and the top 1% for touches in the opposition’s box (5.39) per 90.
That clearly highlights his ability to get on the ball and cause havoc in the final third, something that Conte wants to see from his wing-backs and something that is perhaps lacking in Emerson, who has managed just three goal contributions in his 45 appearances for Spurs.
Carrasco, who was once described as a “complete player” by his manager Diego Simeone, is also more than capable in his defensive duties, having averaged two tackles and one clearance per game in 2022/23 so far, via WhoScored, so he could well be the perfect complement to Perisic at Hotspur Way.
As such, sporting director Fabio Paratici must look to get this late swoop over the line before the 11pm deadline on Thursday.
The Perisic-like Carrasco and the Croatian himself would be a mouth-watering and rather attacking wing-back pairing in the English top-flight. Conte wants him, so the Italian supremo has to now deliver.