Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Incredible escape route emerges for fading Tottenham star who could re-join his old club in January

Tottenham stars Richarlison and Eric Dier

Tottenham Hotspur defender Eric Dier has become a target for his former club, Sporting CP, according to a report.

Unlike most of the players he has shared a pitch with for the England national team over the years, Dier began his career abroad, having grown up in Portugal and developed in Sporting’s academy since the age of eight.

It was after 31 senior appearances for Sporting that Tottenham brought Dier back to his country of birth in a £4million move. He has since earned more than 350 appearances for Spurs, but is in the final year of his contract there.

Ange Postecoglou has not been using him as regularly as some previous Tottenham coaches did, since he has given prominence to summer signing Micky van de Ven at the back alongside Cristian Romero in his usual partnership. Therefore, Dier is looking likely to leave the club next year – either for a fee in January or when his contract expires in the summer.

Turning 30 in January, he has already been tipped to move abroad again – and now it has been revealed by The Times that he could even retrace his steps to Lisbon.

According to the report, Sporting have made Dier one of their targets for 2024. There is even a chance they would be willing to part with a small fee to take him during the January transfer window, although the exact asking price is not entirely clear.

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Sporting’s president, Frederico Varandas, was a club doctor during Dier’s previous spell with the first team. The pair still maintain a good relationship.

If Dier was to return to Sporting, he would not be the only English player in their squad. Coincidentally, the other is another ex-Tottenham product, Marcus Edwards.

This season, Sporting are involved in the Europa League group stage, which is more than Tottenham can say. If they can progress from their group, then, it might be an even more appealing move for Dier.

The Cheltenham-born star has not played a single minute of competitive action under Postecoglou so far. He has been an unused substitute for three Premier League games and out of the squad altogether for the other five so far.

Around a year ago, Dier admitted he would be open to playing overseas again, telling The Times: “Who knows where football will take me in two or three years?

“I’m still young, I’ve got a lot of time left. I’m looking after myself. I think I will play abroad again at some point in the future, but there’s no rush on that.

“I would really enjoy experiencing a different type of football again. I think it will happen at some point and I think I look forward to experiencing football in a different culture because I loved it as a kid as well.”

Dier could come full circle at Sporting

A return to Sporting would be an emotional way for Dier to bring an end to his near-decade as a Tottenham player.

Clearly motivated by the idea of testing himself in another league again, how fitting it would be if it was with the club that launched him all those years ago.

Sporting are currently top of the Portuguese table and unbeaten after eight games, which would make them an attractive project to be part of. Of course, Dier has not won a trophy with Tottenham.

Dier may want to assess all his options, since he has also been linked with moves to Italy and Germany, but he would be able to make an instant impact back in Lisbon – not least because he can still speak Portuguese.

One thing is clear: no matter what some critics think of him, Dier is too good to not be playing at all at this stage of his career. Therefore, he will be weighing up his options for the future as he plots his escape from Tottenham.

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