Tottenham make January beeline for unknown defender to boost Conte ranks

Antonio Conte celebrates during Tottenham's win over Leeds, November 2021

Tottenham are reportedly making a January beeline for the signing of an unknown defender to boost Antonio Conte’s backline ranks.

Spurs were already in need of centre-back additions before Conte came in. But the Italian manager’s favoured 3-5-2 formation means there is now urgent attention being directed towards the position.

The north London club have to bring a new body in come the winter transfer window to give their new boss a chance of success this season.

And their search has led them back to Fenerbahce’s Kim Min-jae, according to Turkish outlet Takvim. They previously eyed him up this year.

Min-jae, 25, only signed for the Super Lig side in the summer. But in just 15 league and Europa League appearances, he has seriously impressed.

The South Korea international is said to have especially stood out at the weekend as Fenerbahce beat rivals Galatasary on their travels.

His performance was described as the ‘perfect match’.

Give our social media channels a follow – we’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Such a level has attracted the attention of not only Tottenham, but also Juventus and Bordeaux.

Min-jae signed a four-year contract in Turkey in August. He cost Fenerbahce around £3m to sign from Beijing Guoan in China.

However, they are considering selling him already. And a price tag of €20m is claimed to be what they would look for.

Antonio Conte 'keen' on Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo

Tottenham are reportedly keen on sealing a deal for Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo, who’s struggling for game time under former Spurs boss Jose Mourinho, with more news on Matthijs de Ligt, Franck Kessie and Dusan Vlahovic.

It seems that figure would only apply come the end of the season, though, because a separate report from Fotospor states they’d like to keep him until the end of the season.

As such, any interested party who plots a January move, like Spurs, are being met with high demands.

Their current asking price is €25m, of which 75% must be cash. And they would want a 25% sell on fee.

Regardless, Tottenham are preparing to make an offer to tempt Fenerbahce into selling.

Kim Min-jae hugs a Fenerbahce team-mate, November 2021

Conte brings fresh hope

Meanwhile, Conte believes now could be Ryan Sessegnon’s time at Tottenham after revealing he believes the player has “great potential”.

Conte handed the 21-year-old his first minutes of the season in the win over Leeds. The left-back replaced Sergio Reguillon on 79 minutes and is in line to face Mura in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.

Conte has said he will rotate his squad in Slovenia as he tries to assess all his players ahead of the January transfer window.

And Sessegnon looks like one of those who will benefit greatly from the arrival of Conte after a nightmare last few years…

READ MOREConte picks Tottenham fringe player with ‘great potential’ and promises him game time