Tottenham and Everton take hit in pursuit of potential bargain defender

Alessio Romagnoli of AC Milan tussles with Paulo Dybala of Juventus, September 2021

A defender who has drawn interest from Tottenham and more significantly Everton has reportedly handed both sides a hit in their pursuit of him.

Nuno Espirito Santo and Rafael Benitez took over the respective Premier League sides in the summer and identified the same area of weakness: centre-back. Spurs have recently lost the solid Belgian duo of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.

And Benitez is seemingly unhappy with the defensive options he has at his disposal at Goodison Park.

He has been somewhat justified in this take as the Toffees have kept just two clean sheets in nine games so far this season.

In recent months both them and Spurs have stumbled across the same target to plug the gap in their squads.

AC Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli is into the final year of his contract and is therefore on the cusp of a move away.

Tottenham were linked with the 26-year-old back in June. Everton, meanwhile, were said to have set their sights on him a few weeks ago.

His Italian club are looking to tie him down to a new deal. They are unable to offer the €6m salary he currently receives, though.

However, despite this he still wants to stay with them and is willing to take a pay cut to do so, according to Tuttomercarto.

Alessio Romagnoli AC MIlan v Juventus September 2021

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An offer has not yet been made by AC. They are expected to present a deal which would be half of his current pay, plus bonuses.

Whether that will be too much of a drop for Romagnoli remains to be seen. Tottenham and Everton may yet still be able to tempt him with a bumper deal.

Seeing as he will not cost a penny to buy, this may be a realistic possibility. But for now it seems the Italian defender isn’t interested in a move away.

Spurs coup explained

Elsewhere, Metz president Bernard Serin has explained why Tottenham pipped all other suitors to the signature of exciting young midfielder Pape Sarr.

The 18-year-old joined the club on August 27, with Spurs paying Metz £14.6m for his signature.

However, the Senegal international will play for the Ligue 1 outfit this term, after returning to Metz. The north Londoners brought in five new players in the off season.

Big things are expected of Sarr, who was also chased by a number of Tottenham’s Premier League rivals.

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