Tottenham have contacted Stuttgart to register their interest in signing France World Cup winning defender Benjamin Pavard, sources have confirmed to TEAMtalk.
Spurs are still anticipating that Belgian ace Toby Alderweireld will move on this summer, with a switch to Manchester United still a strong possibility.
Mauricio Pochettini is understood to have a number of potential replacements in mind – but Pavard’s performances for France in Russa – as well as his versatility – has piqued the interest of the Argentine and his scouting staff.
The 22-year-old has been hugely impressive at right-back for France, but he normally operates as a centre-half for his club side – and has even played in midfield, all traits of interest to Pochettino as he bids to sign a perfect like-for-like replacement for Alderweireld.
Pavard was one of only four players to feature in every second of the 2017/18 Bundesliga season and signed a long-term deal in December which ties him down until 2021.
His deal contains an exit fee of €35m (£30.9m) – but that only kicks in from the summer of 2019.
As such, Tottenham – as well as fellow suitors Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and PSG – know it would take a significantly higher offer to tempt Stuttgart to sell now.
However, they may find the Bundesliga club an unmovable force this summer, with sporting director Michael Reschke telling Sport Bild they had no desire to cash in on the player – even for a fee way beyond next summer’s escape clause.
“We make no secret of the fact that Benjamin has a release clause for 2019. We will gladly forgo a lot of money if he plays for us for a further season,” Reschke, told Sport Bild.
“The interest in Pavard has increased a notch since Saturday with enquiries from top clubs in Europe. But we will not sell Benji for €50m this summer — we want to keep him,” he said.
L’Equipe have reported that Bayern Munich are set to trigger the €35m exit clause Pavard, which becomes active in 2019.
Reschke though will seek talks with Pavard, who is also a target for Napoli, Borussia Dortmund and Leipzig, and his agent after the World Cup to discuss his future plans.
“We are prepared to find a solution for 1. July 2019 with a club that works together with us correctly and transparently. I think it’s very probable that he will move to one of the top eight clubs in Europe for season 2019-20,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pavard, who cost just €5m from Lille in 2016, has told L’Equipe: “I have always said that I want to play in the Champions League one day. But I appreciate what Stuttgart has given me.”
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