Tottenham are reportedly making concrete plans to sign Jonathan Tah in 2024 after learning the price it would take to convince Bayer Leverkusen to sell a defender who very much features on Chelsea’s transfer wishlist.
Ange Postecoglou has two focuses in mind with the January window due to open for business in just 21 days time, with a new defender and a new central midfielder very much top of his agenda at Tottenham. And it seems his chances of fixing one of those areas is on the rise after learning of Bayer’s stance over the possible sale of Tah.
Spurs returned to winning ways on Sunday, courtesy of a handsome 4-1 win over injury-blighted Newcastle United side. However, Eddie Howe’s side are currently struggling for numbers with 12 of their first-team regulars currently on the sidelines.
And while Tottenham were much good value for the win, Postecoglou knows all too well himself how the tables can turn once a plethora of first-team stars are put on the treatment table.
Indeed, one of the areas the Aussie has seen his side struggle in in recent weeks is in the heart of defence. And in the recent 3-3 draw against Manchester City, Postecoglou was forced to sent his side out at the Etihad with full-backs Emerson Royal and Ben Davies pairing up as a makeshift central defensive unit.
With Eric Dier nearing the end of the line and Joe Rodon on loan at Leeds and unlikely to be considered even if he were still at the club, Postecoglou has drawn up a list of defensive targets by which to strengthen his squad.
Tah not Tapsoba more likely to join Tottenham
That list is reportedly headed by sublime Bayer defender Edmond Tapsoba, who has proved an absolute colossus in the heart of their defence.
However, Bayer currently top the Bundesliga table and are dreaming of a first-ever success in their history, thus ensuring any move for the Burkina Faso centre-half will be rejected at all costs.
Tottenham are also keen to sign Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly, who becomes a free agent in the summer of 2024. However, as our exclusive on Monday revealed, the Cherries have offered their star defender a record-breaking new deal and will reject any approach that comes their way in January.
Postecoglou could have more joy, however, in his pursuit of a third option in the form of another Bayer man in Tah.
The 27-year-old Germany defender has also been a rock-solid influence at the heart of Xabi Alonso’s defence this season. With 19 appearances to his name in all competitions, Tah has also this season showed another side to his game by also adding four goals.
As such, Bayer are highly reluctant to consider the sale of the player midway through the season.
However, reports in Spain now claim that stance will shift significantly come the summer window in a development that has Spurs on high alert.
That’s because Tah’s deal at Bayer is due to expire in summer 2025 – and unless he signs an extension, then he will be offloaded by the German outfit at the end of the current season.
Tottenham learn price needed to sign Bayer defender
As a result, the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea have both been strongly linked.
To that end, it’s claimed Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino has earmarked Tah as his No 1 candidate to replace veteran star Thiago Silva, who will reportedly leave Stamford Bridge and return to Brazil at the end of the campaign.
However, per the report, it is Postecoglou and Tottenham who have leapt to the front of the queue for Tah after making initial enquiries over a possible deal.
And while they have learned that a January move will not be sanctioned, a move in the summer, to the value of €40m (£34.2m) will, should the player continue to reject all approaches to sign a new deal at the BayArena.
Leverkusen also believe their willingness to sell Tah can help them withstand all offers on some of their other prized assets in Tapsoba and attacking midfielder Florian Wirtz.
However, another defender in Jeremie Frimpong also looks destined to leave given he also had a clause in his deal for around the €40m mark.
In the meantime, Bayer will try and tie Tah down to a new deal. But with Tottenham hot on his trail, a summer move to N17 looks a growing possibility.