Real Madrid are reportedly ready to thwart new Tottenham boss Nuno Espírito Santo’s hopes of landing a LaLiga centre-back this summer.
The former Wolves manager was announced as Spurs’ new boss on Wednesday after a protracted search finally came to an end. And with Nuno on board, the focus has now switched to ins and outs in what could be a busy summer in north London.
On Friday, Gianluca Di Marzio announced that Nuno was in advanced talks to take over at Spurs and that Sevilla star Jules Kounde was his first target.
That was backed up by ABC Sevilla on Saturday, although it appears that doing a deal could be difficult.
Manchester City attempted to land Kounde last summer before they eventually turned to the outstanding Ruben Dias instead.
At that time Sevilla were not prepared to do a deal for around €55m. It appears that the same scenario has emerged this time around.
But there is also the added threat of Real showing an interest in the France international.
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Thursday’s edition of Sport, as cited by Sport Witness, states that the LaLiga giants cannot afford to pay Kounde’s €80m exit clause. However, they are trying to include Isco as part of the deal – bringing the fee down to €40-50m.
Such a deal could tempt Real, although Sevilla only value Isco at €25m right now.
Centre-backs on Nuno’s agenda
As for Tottenham, they are expected to sign at least one new centre-back this summer. The position was an issue for Jose Mourinho during his time in charge. Indeed, Toby Alderweireld, Davinson Sanchez all had their struggles last season.
Nuno’s preference in the past has been to use three centre-backs. However, it remains to be seen if that will also be the case in north London.
Tottenham have also been linked with a move for Connor Coady, who was outstanding for Nuno at Molineux. But new Everton boss Rafa Benitez is also showing an interest in the England man.
Kounde would certainly be an upgrade over Spurs’ current options, while Inter’s Milan Skriniar also remains a target.