Tottenham will reportedly sign two centre-backs this summer in a bid to plug a defence that has often proved to be their Achilles heel this season.
Spurs have conceded 41 goals in 35 Premier League games, although many of those have come from winning positions. Former boss Jose Mourinho often changed his centre-backing pairing during the second half of the campaign, having initially stuck with Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld.
However, former record signing Davinson Sanchez and summer recruit Joe Rodon have also had their fair share of game time.
Interim boss Ryan Mason has since switched back to the Dier-Alderweireld axis. But the duo looked all at sea in the weekend defeat at Leeds and it would appear that Daniel Levy has seen enough.
A report in Football.London claims that whoever takes over as new Tottenham manager will be given the green light to bolster the defence.
However, for this to happen at least two central defenders will need to be moved on first.
That is unlikely to be a cause for concern, with Alderweireld continually linked with Ajax and Club Brugge. Sanchez, meanwhile, is expected to be offloaded in a cut-price deal or even a potential loan – with his old club Ajax once again the running.
Dier has also been tipped to join old boss Mourinho at Roma next season, although that has since been ruled out.
In terms of potential incomings, Spurs continue to be linked with a number of top names and some less familiar.
They are already said to have made contact with Jerome Boateng over a free transfer move from Bayern. Southampton star Jannik Vestergaard and Fulham’s on-loan defender Joachim Andersen are considered cheaper options.
Tottenham’s top target has been Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar. But that looks less likely, given that Champions League will almost certainly elude them.
All will now depend on who replaces Mourinho as permanent boss. But, at this stage, the club no nearer to announcing the new man at the helm.
Spurs are next in action on Sunday when they play host to Wolves. Mason’s men need to win their final three games and hope for major slip-ups from Leicester, Chelsea and West Ham to finish in the top four.
Tottenham’s missed Griezmann opportunity
Meanwhile, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy missed out on signing Antoine Griezmann by €7m before his 2014 transfer to Atletico Madrid.
That transfer miss has been confirmed by the France star’s former mentor and representative Eric Olhats. Griezmann, 30, made his name at Atletico and played there for five seasons before moving to Barcelona. But it was at Real Sociedad that he was first spotted. Griezmann, who has scored over 200 career goals, came through the ranks of Real Sociedad’s academy. He was then promoted into their first team in 2009, hitting 20 goals in his final season before moving to Atletico.
It could all have been different though had Levy sanctioned a €30m bid for the forward.
Griezmann’s form for La Real convinced Spurs to make an offer. The diminutive attacker had a €30m release clause in his contract, but Spurs did not match the buyout.
“Tottenham came for Griezmann and offered €23m, but Real [Sociedad] demanded the 30 of his release clause, period. And he did not go away,” Olhats told Mundo Deportivo via Sport Witness.
That allowed Diego Simeone’s side to complete the World Cup winner’s signing in 2014. Atletico agreed to meet his buyout clause and Griezmann signed a six-year contract.
As part of that deal Real Sociedad asked for 20% of the future transfer fee, which they received when Los Rojiblancos sold Griezmann to Barca in 2019.
The France international notched 133 goals from 257 outings for Atletico.
The fee was a staggering €120m, as stated in his buy-out clause.