Doubts emerge over Mourinho signing as Paratici pushes Tottenham towards Turkey star

Date published: Friday 29th October 2021 1:35 - James Marshment

Zeki Celik Ugurcan Cakir Michael Oliver

Tottenham are reportedly back in the mix to sign Lille right-back Zeki Celik in a move that could push a Jose Mourinho signing closer to the exit door.

The 24-year-old Turkey star has been a consistently strong performer since moving to the Ligue 1 club in 2018. Indeed, his performances have drawn admiring glances from a number of suitors eager to plunder the reigning French champions.

Indeed, he was strongly linked with Tottenham over the summer as Nuno Espirito Santo chased a new right-back. However, despite strong links with Celik, Spurs instead ended up signing Emerson Royal from Barcelona in a £25.8m deal.

The Brazilian has made a solid start for Spurs too, featuring in six matches so far and showing plenty of early promise.

Sharing the right-back berth with Japhet Tanganga, Tottenham do appear well covered in the position.

However, Tuttomercatoweb reports that Spurs transfer guru Fabio Paratici is keen on signing Celik in January.

The report claims that Spurs, along with Fiorentina, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan are all considering swoops.

Lille are reportedly seeking a reduced £18.8m (€20m) fee, with his contract expiring in 2023. And at that price, Paratici seemingly sees his signing as something of a prospective bargain.

His signing would then potentially allow Tanganga to provide cover and competition in the centre of defence.

While most of his appearances have come at right-back, he does see himself as a centre-half in the long-term.


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Matt Doherty the man to depart

Furthemore his signing would also allow Tottenham to offload the frustrated Matt Doherty.

Having signed in a near £15m deal from Wolves in summer 2020, big things were expected of the Irishman.

However, he failed to command a regular berth under Jose Mourinho, sharing the shirt with Serge Aurier. But his fortunes have not changed either after the arrival of Nuno, with Doherty restricted to just seven minutes of Premier League football this season.

He was linked with a move away over the summer amid claims Nuno does not fancy him. And given his limited action so far this season, it’s clear to see he does not figure in the long-term plans of the Portuguese coach.

Therefore, it seems a move away could be in the best interests of all parties. It would not come as a surprise to see Spurs willing to listen to offers for the 29-year-old ahead of the winter window.

READ MORETottenham transfer savaged with struggling star told January exit is a must

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