Antonio Conte reportedly wants to take centre-back Milan Skriniar away from Inter Milan, if he becomes the new manager of Tottenham.
The Italian is said to be in advanced talks to take over from Jose Mourinho in north London after quitting the Nerazzurri last week. Conte left Inter after guiding them to their first Serie A title in a decade and was swiftly linked with the vacancy at Spurs.
Defensive issues and an inability to hold on to leads consistently haunted Tottenham last season. They also, ultimately, led to Mourinho’s sacking, with Ryan Mason taking over the temporary reins.
Under their former midfielder, Spurs eventually finished seventh to qualify for a Europa Conference League play-off spot.
Popular former boss Mauricio Pochettino looked to be in line for a return. However, PSG are refusing to let the Argentine leave, having only appointed him in early January.
That has sparked strong rumours that Conte is very much the frontrunner for the job. And it would appear that he wants to raid his old club if he does take charge in north London.
Spurs have a longstanding interest in Skriniar going back to Mourinho’s early days as manager.
The Slovakian could move on as part of cost-cutting measures in Milan, with Inter struggling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. His current value is predicted at anywhere between £30-45million.
New system for Tottenham
Conte is expected to switch to his favoured 3-5-2 system at Tottenham. To that end, Skriniar fits the bill as one of three centre-backs.
The imposing defender struggled in that formation last season but is now fully adapted to the scheme. Indeed, he played a major role as Inter swept all before them to win the Serie A title.
Having struggled to convince Skriniar to make the move to the Premier League before, the arrival of Conte boosts their chances dramatically.
The Italian, 51, is also said to be keen on landing a Serie A marksman if he gets the job. However, it’s thought that he will only take on the role if Harry Kane stays put.
At this stage, it appears that the England skipper is determined to move on. But if Tottenham appoint a manager of Conte’s quality, the striker may be convinced to stay.