Tottenham ‘cool’ interest in top target, as cheaper, ex-Man Utd option emerges

Date published: Friday 30th July 2021 12:56 - Steve Pearson

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Chris Smalling, Roma, 2021

Tottenham interest in top centre-back target Cristian Romero has ‘cooled down’, with a cheaper alternative familiar with Man Utd fans now emerging, according to a report.

Following Toby Alderweireld’s cut-price exit to Qatar, Spurs’ need for new faces at centre-half has become great. Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez have also been tipped to depart, meaning multiple deals could be on the agenda.

Per widespread reports, the club’s top target in the position is Atalanta’s Cristian Romero.

The Serie A club have decided to exercise their right to buy Romero from Juventus. They will do so a year early into his two-season loan deal with Atalanta, which started in September 2020.

Once that deal goes through, Atalanta want around €60m to offload him this summer. And Spurs appear to be in pole position after making two attempts to land Romero.

Indeed, trusted journalist Fabrizio Romano revealed a shortfall of between €10m-€15m was holding up the deal’s progress.

Atalanta are understood to be seeking €55m, but if that amount proves too rich for Tottenham, a different Serie A defender could be targeted.

Per Sport Witness, that man could be ex-Man Utd and current Roma star, Chris Smalling.

The 31-year-old has resurrected his career since initially moving to Rome on loan in 2019. And citing Italian outlet Calciomercato, Sport Witness claim Spurs’ attention has shifted to Smalling after their interest in Romero cooled.

Whether the report is totally accurate would seem to be up for debate. Multiple sources have insisted Tottenham remain in the hunt for Romero, including the incredibly reliable Romano.

Cristian Romero Atalanta TEAMtalk

And with an extra €10m-€15m put forward for Romero tipped to yield a breakthrough, it would seem a deal could still be made for the Argentine.

Nevertheless, Smalling could yet emerge as a more budget-friendly option if the Romero deal falls flat.

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Tottenham veteran not distracted by exit talk

Meanwhile, Tottenham goalkeeper Joe Hart has made it clear that he is not being distracted by the talk of a summer switch to Celtic.

The 34-year-old former England stopper joined Spurs last summer on a free transfer and made 10 appearances under former boss Jose Mourinho in the cup competitions. However, it’s understood that Nuno Espirito Santo has told the former Manchester City man that his now surplus to requirements.

Tottenham have since signed Pierluigi Gollini on loan from Atalanta with an option to buy him permanently.

Scottish giants Celtic have registered their interest in Hart. They are trying to work out a deal regarding his wages and potential nominal fee to Tottenham. The figure touted is around £1million.

On Friday morning, Hart posted a photo of himself in training the previous day. The accompanying caption read: “Nothing but focus, no matter what #relentless”.

READ MORE: Koeman tells Barcelona bosses not to sign Liverpool, Tottenham targets

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