Tottenham are engaged in a war with Juventus for the signing of a top Serie A star, according to reports.
The north London side have been linked with plenty of players from the Italian top flight in recent months. This is due to the arrival of new chief Fabio Paratici, who spent 11 years as Juventus’ sporting director. It is also down to the recent appointment of Antonio Conte, who came in to replace Nuno Espirito Santo on November 2.
Both Paratici and Conte have exceptional knowledge of Serie A, and where best to find quality new players. They are now in the frame to land Dutch centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, whose €150million (£125.7m) release clause becomes active in the summer. However, they will face intense competition from English rivals Chelsea and Manchester City for his signature.
Another target is Milan and Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessie. The 24-year-old is an integral player at the San Siro, having bagged 13 goals in 37 league appearances during 2020-21. Milan do not wish to let him leave, but with his contract expiring in June, a winter sale may become their only option.
Arguably Tottenham’s dream signing is that of Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic. He is the latest in a long line of impressive strikers for La Viola, which includes Roberto Baggio, Gabriel Batistuta and Adrian Mutu.
Vlahovic’s time in Florence is coming to an end as he will not sign a new contact. As his current deal expires in 2023, Fiorentina must sell next summer to get their ideal price – €70m (£58.7m).
Sport Witness, citing reports in the Italian media, provide a new update on the Serbian’s future. They write that Tottenham and Juventus are the two clubs most likely to complete a deal.
Tottenham are the Old Lady’s ‘main rival’ for Vlahovic’s services, with Arsenal and Man City seemingly out of the picture.
Juve are looking to steal a march on Spurs by opening discussions with Fiorentina. They have been told by Vlahovic’s agent, Darko Ristic, that he will demand €6m in wages per year, after tax.
Ristic is constantly in conversation about his client’s future. His phone ‘never stops ringing’, according to the report.
It seems Tottenham are now the most likely English team to snap up Vlahovic. But chairman Daniel Levy, along with Paratici, will have to act fast if they are to beat Juve to the punch.
Conte reacts to first league win
Meanwhile, Conte has spoken to reporters after he picked up his first league win as Spurs boss.
Goals from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Sergio Reguilon saw them come from behind to beat Leeds 2-1 at home.
Spurs were booed at half-time as they went into the changing room 1-0 down, but Conte had turned the crowd around by the final whistle.
“I am very pleased, in the second half we deserved to win, we created many chances to score,” he told Sky Sports.
“I said to my players this is a point to start. If we want to build on this.
“The feeling of the crowd depends on us. In the first half we didn’t play well, we lost many tackles. Maybe to concede the goal in the last minute of the first half was good. At half-time the players showed me they could win this game.
“In the second half I corrected the situation. I look at the stats and Leeds are the best in the league for running. In the second half we beat them in intensity.
“We won the game, we deserved to win. We played attractive football and the crowd was with us. It’s a great feeling. We want to keep changing, we want to change everything.”