That’s according to a report by German publication Kicker, who claim that Fabio Paratici is now plotting a €40m (£34m) offer for the Bayer 04 Leverkusen centre-back, while AC Milan are also reported to be keen on a move for the 20-year-old in the summer transfer window.
These claims have been backed up by Diario AS journalist Marcos Duran, who revealed in a recent post on Twitter that both the Premier League and Serie A clubs have made contact with Bayer regarding a deal for the Ecuador international.
In his tweet, Duran said: “As reported in Italy and Germany, both Milan and Tottenham were contacted by the Ecuadorian Piero Hincapie, the Bayer 04 player. Player and club in talks to improve the contract. He wants to play in the Champions League, but the market is just beginning.”
Considering just how exciting a talent Hincapie is, in addition to the signing of a left-footed centre-back reported to be one of Antonio Conte’s priority targets in the summer transfer window, it is easy to see why Paratici is pursuing a deal for the South American sensation ahead of Tottenham’s 2022/23 campaign.
Indeed, following his €7.8m (£6.7m) move to the BayArena last summer, the £26m-rated defender highly impressed over his 27 Bundesliga appearances, helping his side keep two clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.2 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 2.0 clearances and winning 4.4 duels – at a success rate of 56% – per game.
The centre-back who Rudi Voller dubbed “a ball winner, intelligent and technically gifted” also impressed going forwards, scoring one goal, registering two assists and creating four big chances for his teammates, in addition to completing an average of 32.4 passes, 1.5 long balls, 0.4 key passes and 0.6 dribbles per fixture.
Furthermore, according to FBref data, the £19k-per-week talent also ranks in the top 2% of centre-backs in Europe’s big five leagues for ariel duels won per 90, as well as the top 5% for interceptions, the top 6% for clearances, the top 16% for passes completed, the top 19% for passes attempted and the top 39% for dribbles completed over the last 365 days.
These metrics would appear to back up Tim Vickery’s claim that Hincapie is something of a perfect fit for the left of a back three, with the South American football expert stating in an interview with Sky Sports News earlier this year:
“He’s first-choice for Ecuador. He’s a left-sided centre-back. He has a nice left foot. Brings the ball out of defence very well. Making it interesting perhaps for a back three formation. If you are going to play a three, then two of those must be able to bring the ball out of defence.
“He moved already from Ecuador to Argentina and he had a good season in Argentina. He’s done very, very well in the Bundesliga as well… I have been very, very impressed by his progress.”
As such, it is clear to see that the 20-year-old who Jacek Kulig dubbed a “complete, elegant and dominant” defender is very much a player in the mould of Tottenham’s own Cristian Romero – the Argentina international known for his exceptional reading of the game, his ability to launch counter-attacks with progressive passes and his composure when bringing the ball out from the back.
So, should Paratici go on to seal a deal for Hincapie this summer, it would seem as if the sporting director could well have landed a left-footed version of Romero, not to mention a talent who ticks almost every box for Conte’s left-sided centre-back – a prospect that is sure to delight both the Italian manager and Spurs supporters alike.