Inter Milan director Piero Ausilio insists he will not be letting any of the club’s top players leave in the January transfer window, particularly if new Tottenham boss Antonio Conte comes calling.
The former Inter coach is now back in management in north London and there has been plenty of talk that he could raid his old club for some of their top assets, in order to bolster a Spurs squad that has largely underperformed so far this season.
Daniel Levy and Fabio Paratici moved quickly to wrap up the capture of the Italian this time around. His arrival comes nearly five months after they failed to land Conte over the summer.
Sporting director Paratici is understood to have given the 52-year-old several guarantees to secure his services. One of which is funds to spend in January, with the squad in need of major reinvestment.
And with Conte guiding Inter to their first Scudetto in a decade last season, there has been talk he is ready to raid his old club to strengthen his new one.
Nicolo Barella and Alessandro Bastoni have already been linked, although the former is closing in on a new Inter deal.
Barella was signed by Conte and has become one of the club’s most important players. Indeed, he is widely considered a future Inter captain.
Centre-back Stefan De Vrij has also been earmarked as a potential target. Conte will look to sign at least one new centre-back as he looks to use his favoured 3-5-2 formation.
De Vrij has been excellent as part of a back-three at the San Siro. The Netherlands international also starred in that system during his time at Lazio.
Defensive midfielder Marcelo Brozovic has also been linked with a free transfer switch to Tottenham. The Croatian has a number of admirers in the Premier League, including Liverpool and Manchester United.
However, Inter are not prepared to do any business in the new year and will reject all advances.
Their sporting director Ausilio told Sky Italia, as cited by the Daily Express: “I’m not worried about Antonio Conte and our players. In January we won’t consider any possible exit”.
Serie A striker remains another option
One Serie A star you could still be on his way to Tottenham, however, is Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic.
Paratici tried to sign the Serbia forward over the summer, but Spurs were unable to complete the transfer. However, Vlahovic has now decided against signing a new contract at La Viola, with his current one expiring in 2023.
That means he is likely to be up for grabs in January or next summer, as Fiorentina look to cash in.
Vlahovic’s arrival will provide competition for Tottenham talisman Harry Kane, who has struggled so far this season.
The England skipper has just one Premier League goal to his name, while his body language has been poor after he missed out on a summer move to Manchester City.
There have been reports, however, that Kane has been revitalised by Conte’s appointment and now wants to stay.
Conte’s first taste of action could be in the Europa Conference League against Vitesse on Thursday night. But he may have to watch on from the stands if his work permit does not come through in time.