Antonio Conte has already named one player he’d like to sign at Tottenham Hotspur, according to emerging reports…
What’s the word?
Football Insider claimed that the 51-year-old has suggested his former Inter Milan defender Stefan de Vrij during negotiations to become Spurs’ next manager.
It is thought that the north London outfit are becoming increasingly confident of sealing the former Chelsea boss, and with a centre-back said to be among the top priorities, Conte has put his weight behind a player he knows well.
Should Levy listen to Conte and sign De Vrij?
The Serie A champions have big financial problems, which is part of the reason why the Italian departed having only just won the league title, so they could be forced to sell some big stars, including the 29-year-old mainstay.
De Vrij is believed to be rated around £45m, with two years still remaining on his contract at the San Siro.
Get it done, Levy
Conte has a big task at his hands as Spurs’ squad is in drastic need of a major overhaul, especially defensively, where the root of all their problems seems to lie.
As explained perfectly by The Athletic and football.london during Jose Mourinho’s tenure, individual mistakes and a clear lack of cohesion in the backline were the woefully defining theme of their disappointing campaign.
It’s no wonder that Football Insider claim that the likes of Davinson Sanchez could be sold in order to raise funds this summer. He and Eric Dier were deemed “one of the worst partnerships in the Premier League” by former Spurs midfielder turned talkSPORT pundit Jamie O’Hara back in February.
If chairman Daniel Levy wants to take Spurs onto the next level, merely appointing a nine-time trophy winner isn’t going to be enough. He needs solid backing in the transfer market, especially when it comes to defensive additions.
Conte, as per the report, wants to sign his former Dutch colossus, and Levy must deliver him as he’d be a clear upgrade at centre-back.
The 44-cap beast was a regular in his Inter side that romped to the Serie A title with a whopping 12-point cushion. No side conceded fewer goals than his defence, either. He started 39 matches in all competitions and rated out as one of Conte’s best ball-playing options (93.8% pass success).
ESPN columnist David Amoyal waxed lyrical about the 6 foot 2 powerhouse only two months ago, claiming he was “one of the most underrated players in Serie A and even on his own team” and that he was the “anchor of [Inter’s defensive] unit.”
De Vrij was also dubbed a “monster” during his time at Lazio by their former defender Mauricio. He said to 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! He also has excellent technique and knows how to play the ball like few others, and that’s the difference between him and other players. He’s a calm defender who never gets agitated.”
Evidently, the Inter star would be a fine addition to Spurs, and if Conte truly does want him, that should be enough for Levy to pull the trigger. He must sanction this deal once the 51-year-old walks through the door.
It’s the sort of double swoop which could put the north Londoners back on the map.