Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham accelerate transfer Antonio Conte demanded with Serie A side ready to play ball

Steve Pearson
Stefan de Vrij Inter

Tottenham have stepped up their pursuit of an Inter Milan ace after the Serie A kings softened their stance on a potential exit, per a report.

Less than two months into Antonio Conte’s reign at Tottenham, the north London side are already looking a formidable prospect. Harry Kane is back among the goals and is combining well with on-form pair Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min.

From a defensive standpoint, Ben Davies has shone at at left centre-back, while Eric Dier looks at home marshalling the back three.

A solid defence has always been the hallmark of Conte’s teams. So it came as no surprise to see Spurs linked with Inter Milan’s Stefan de Vrij before Christmas. 

The 29-year-old Dutchman is an elite performer and formed one third of Conte’s staunch backline at the San Siro last year.

De Vrij remains at the top of his game for the Serie A leaders this season. However, Sport Witness revealed Inter may have dropped the ball.

The cash-strapped Italians are reportedly prioritising contract renewals for Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic. A new deal for De Vrij – whose contract expires in the summer of 2023 – is on the backburner.

De Vrij reports provide positive updates

That led to Conte reportedly putting a request into Tottenham to reunite with De Vrij. Now, two fresh reports have provided a positive update on a potential Spurs deal.

Firstly, Sport Witness (citing FC Inter News) reveal Tottenham have ‘asked for information’ regarding the defender. Newcastle and Barcelona are also interested, but Conte’s presence puts Tottenham on pole position.

De Vrij has been linked with a move to Spurs

Inter's De Vrij has been linked with a move to Spurs.

Spurs’ intention is reportedly to sign De Vrij ‘next summer’ At that point, and with just 12 months left on his deal, De Vrij will be easy pickings in the market.

A second report from Football Italia sheds further light on the situation. In yet more good news for Spurs fans, they write Inter are in ‘no rush’ to negotiate a new contract with De Vrij. On the contrary, they are now ‘willing to listen to offers’.

Key to Inter’s decision is their financial difficulties. They believe they can generate a sizeable fee for the Dutchman who was a free agent signing in 2018. Inter will reportedly insist the bidding starts at €20m.

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Conte nears first signing with deal at ‘advanced stage’

Meanwhile, Tottenham are closing in on the signing of Franck Kessie with talks between the midfielder nearing a conclusion, according to a report.

The midfield general, 25, is quickly becoming one of football’s most coveted free agents. Kessie is out of contract next summer and predictably, has no shortage of suitors scampering to sign the AC Milan man.

Reports just before Christmas outlined the package put on the table by Spurs. They are seemingly willing to pay him a deal worth £8.4m a season, which equates to £160,000 a week.

Now, according to the Daily Express, talks between Kessie and Spurs are at an ‘advanced stage’. They claim an agreement is likely to be reached in the next week, with Spurs striking early in the transfer window.

He is eligible to open talks officially from January 1 – but the paper suggests talks are already well down the line.

It is likely Kessie will sign a pre-contract agreement to move to Tottenham at the end of the season. But all things considered, the report claims he is very likely to become the first signing of the Antonio Conte era at Spurs.

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