Antonio Conte is reportedly eyeing a major defensive upgrade at Tottenham Hotspur this winter transfer window…
According to Italian newspaper Corriere Dello Sport (via Sport Witness), the Spurs boss has two main priorities in January as he presses to sign Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic and Inter Milan centre-back Milan Skriniar.
The Slovakia international has long been a target for the north London outfit, even before Conte was appointed last month. In fact, a move for the 26-year-old failed to materialise back in the summer of 2020.
It remains to be seen exactly how much Skriniar would command next month, though CIES Football Observatory currently value him at €40m (£36m).
By launching a bid for his former Inter colossus, Conte could finally axe one of Spurs’ most inconsistent performers in Davinson Sanchez.
The Colombian, who cost a one-time club-record £42m from Ajax in 2017, has struggled to cement a place in the starting XI for several seasons now and you could argue that he’s only broke in now due to Cristian Romero’s injury.
Often dubbed a “liability” to the side, Sanchez could be shifted aside should Spurs manage to secure a move for Skriniar.
Under Conte, he ranked as Inter’s sixth-best performer and second-most used centre-back on their way to their first Scudetto in over a decade. He clearly played a major role in the side having the best defensive record in the Serie A, too.
Across the course of his career, Skriniar has averaged 3.6 clearances, 1.6 tackles and a phenomenal 91.3% passing accuracy for both club and country, via WhoScored. That would suggest that he’s not only a defensive animal but one that is equally adept with the ball at his feet. It’s no wonder he thrived under Conte.
Italian football expert David Amoyal once dubbed him an “absolute beast” and it’s easy to see why, on the above evidence.
Spurs must allow Conte his wish to sign Skriniar this winter. In doing so, they could finally get rid of Sanchez, who just isn’t consistent enough to be a regular starter.