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Antonio Conte wants Inter Milan monster Stefan de Vrij at Spurs

Antonio Conte has already made his transfer demands known at Tottenham Hotspur, according to emerging reports…

What’s the word?

Football Insider claims the 52-year-old boss has asked Fabio Paratici and the Spurs hierarchy to sign his former Inter Milan colossus Stefan de Vrij in January.

It’s thought that the Italian has made the Dutch international a top priority in the upcoming transfer window following early discussions with the Lilywhites sporting director.

Should Spurs spend £40m+ on Stefan de Vrij this January?

YES, 100%

YES, 100%

NO WAY!

NO WAY!

The 29-year-old centre-back is under contract until the summer of 2023 and could command a fee in the region of £40m, with the Serie A champions somewhat strapped for cash.

The report also suggests that Conte rates de Vrij even higher than long-time Spurs target Milan Skriniar, who nearly joined the north London outfit last year and again last January.

Defensive upgrade

A move for the Inter defender could help Conte fix one of Tottenham’s longstanding problems in defence.

Aside from the inconsistent and error-prone performances from the likes of Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez, the Lilywhites have lacked a true leader at the back, perhaps since the departure of Jan Vertonghen.

“To be honest, that’s probably where it didn’t quite work out with Jose [Mourinho], we didn’t quite have enough leadership that we needed at the time,” claimed Harry Kane, via the Evening Standard, in May this year following the departure of the Portuguese.

Similarly, football.london have regularly made note of the lack of leaders within the current squad and a 23-year-old loanee from Atalanta in Cristian Romero doesn’t go to great lengths in fixing that.

Spurs’ goal difference of -7 is the joint-worst of any team outside of the relegation zone and goes to show that they are leaking goals (16) just as much as they are struggling to score them (nine), so a marquee man is needed at the back.

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De Vrij, however, is a vastly experienced beast who is very much considered to be a defensive leader, having been capped 54 times by the Netherlands since August 2012 and registered nearly 200 appearances in the Italian top-flight.

The 6 foot 2 centre-back played a huge role in Inter’s triumph last term, helping them to the division’s best defensive record. He averaged an impressive 93.8% passing accuracy across 32 appearances, proving to be an excellent ball-playing defender.

He also averaged two aerial duels won and 1.3 interceptions per outing, via WhoScored, displaying his impressive intelligence and physical attributes.

De Vrij was once dubbed a “monster” by ex-Lazio teammate Mauricio, who told ESPN (via Football Italia): “Stefan is a great defender and deserves to be at a big club. He’s very tall, he’s strong and fast, he runs a lot – he’s a monster!” before later adding: “He’s a calm defender who never gets agitated.”

Transfermarkt currently value the Inter star at £45m, so it would be a considerable investment from Spurs but it’s one that could well be required if they are to change their fortunes at the back.

Conte desperately needs some leadership and there cannot be a better candidate than a player he knows better than most.

AND in other news, Nail in coffin: Conte’s arrival will have “lazy” £27m-rated Spurs star running scared

Article title: Antonio Conte wants Inter Milan monster Stefan de Vrij at Spurs

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