Mourinho personally spearheading pursuit of dominant Tottenham centre-back target

Date published: Monday 5th April 2021 6:29 - Rob McCarthy

Jose Mourinho will personally spearhead Tottenham’s pursuit of Inter Milan centre-back Milan Skriniar this summer, according to reports.

Spurs are said to be planning a fresh attempt to lure the 26-year-old to north London, having failed with their efforts to land Skriniar last summer and also in January. Indeed, Football Insider claims that Mourinho still has the Slovakia international as his first-choice option.

The Tottenham chief is a massive fan of the Inter star and believes he could transform Spurs’ brittle back four.

The report adds that the imposing defender could even be signed early in the summer. That is mainly due to the groundwork already being laid for the transfer.

Mourinho had made the addition of a world class centre-back his top priority, especially after another woeful defensive display against Newcastle over the weekend.

Poor clearances led to the home side’s opener. Yet more poor defending was also to blame for Newcastle’s late leveller after Spurs had led 2-1.

That was seemingly the last straw for Mourinho, with former record signing Davinson Sanchez inparticular having a poor day.

Joe Rodon is very much viewed as a long-term option for Tottenham. However, the absence of experienced duo Toby Alderweireld and Serge Aurier from the matchday squad at St James’ spoke volumes.

Football Insider revealed last week that a deal to Skriniar to north London take was “very close” to being agreed in January.

However, Inter pulled the plug on discussions after the Slovakian rediscovered his best form. But with Inter struggling financially, that has opened the door for Spurs again.

Skriniar was part of a three-man Inter defence that helped them beat Bologna 1-0 on Sunday. He has started 23 0f their 31 Serie A games this season, as Inter close in on a first league title in 11 years.

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Tottenham star set for cut-price exit

Meanwhile, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is ready to allow on-loan defender Juan Foyth to leave this summer – and his exit will likely be for some distance less than the fee originally negotiated on him.

The versatile Foyth penned a new contract with Spurs before going out on loan to Villarreal last October. The Argentina centre-back extended his association with Spurs until the summer of 2023. His future though in north London looks far from certain.

He fell down the pecking order under Jose Mourinho and decided to move out on loan in a bid to get some football.

Juan Foyth, Villarreal

The defender has made 24 appearances in all competitions in a variety of positions for the Yellow Submarine. Foyth has played as a centre-back in the Europa League, while he has been used in a defensive midfield role and at right-back in LaLiga.

However, his performances have impressed Unai Emery and they are keen sign him on a permanent deal.

Villarreal paid Tottenham a £1.3m loan fee to sign Foyth before the summer window shut. As part of that deal, they secured an option to make it a permanent stay for a further £13m.

However, Football Insider now reports that Foyth is likely to leave for considerably less. Citing Spanish sources, they state Villarreal are working on an approach to sign the Argentine for much less.

It’s reported the tumbling value of the transfer market means Levy is likely to accept a reduced fee. Just as significantly, it’s claimed Foyth has already given the reported deal the green light.

READ MORE: Agent playing transfer poker as top source addresses talk of big Tottenham raid

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