A report has revealed the three players Antonio Conte wants Tottenham to sign in the January transfer window to ensure they make the top four and potentially help them challenge for the Premier League title.
Tottenham have won eight of their 14 Premier League matches so far this season, putting them in fourth spot. They are eight points behind rivals and league leaders Arsenal, though Mikel Arteta’s side have a game in hand.
Tottenham pulled off an impressive comeback to beat Bournemouth 3-2 on October 29. But they couldn’t make it back-to-back wins in the Prem as Liverpool beat them 2-1 in North London over the weekend.
Spurs went behind in the 11th minute when Darwin Nunez set Mo Salah up and the Egyptian finished on his left foot.
Spurs almost equalised when they hit the post through a combination of Ivan Perisic and Reds goalkeeper Alisson. But they ended up going 2-0 down as Salah capitalised on an Eric Dier mistake to register his second goal of the night.
Harry Kane fired into the bottom corner with 20 minutes remaining to give Spurs some hope of a comeback. However, they couldn’t get that crucial second goal and were given their fourth league defeat of the season as a result.
The performance showed Conte that his team still needs some work doing to it, even though they are now managing to compete with England’s elite.
The Times provide a major report indicating which players Spurs will try to sign in January. The first of their priority winter targets is RB Leipzig centre-back Mohamed Simakan.
Spurs eyeing Bundesliga man
Leipzig players are regularly linked with Prem moves, but the rumour mill has been surprisingly quiet regarding Simakan.
Liverpool were linked with him in January 2021 but never actually made a move. And since then there have been no real links with other English sides.
That has changed though and Conte wants Spurs to add Simakan to his squad when the transfer window opens. He would arrive in North London to provide competition for the likes of Eric Dier, Ben Davies, Clement Lenglet and Davinson Sanchez.
Cristian Romero is currently out with a calf injury. However, he is hoping to feature at the World Cup with Argentina and should play again for Spurs after that.
Simakan could also operate at right wing-back for Spurs as he has played on the right side of defence with Leipzig this season.
Leipzig are protected by the Frenchman’s contract, which runs until summer 2026. Having said that, the German club are known to let their best players go when the price is right.
Spurs will probably have to bid more than the 22-year-old’s transfer value to bring him to England. As per transfermarkt, that stands at €28million (£24.5m).
Serie A pair also wanted by Conte
Simakan isn’t the only player Spurs director of football Fabio Paratici will need to bring in to please Conte. The Times state Weston McKennie and Alessandro Bastoni are also targets for the head coach.
Juventus’ McKennie has been linked with Spurs regularly over the last 18 months. And it seems January will be the time when Spurs finally act on their interest in him. He would likely act as a backup midfielder for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Rodrigo Bentancur and Yves Bissouma, should he join.
Bastoni is a centre-half, just like Simakan. The Inter Milan star would represent a step up from Conte’s current centre-back options, barring Romero. However, he will not come cheap.
transfermarkt rate the Italian at €60m (£52.6m) and Inter could well demand more than this for the 23-year-old.
With Conte hoping to land both Simakan and Bastoni, it seems Lenglet will be sent back to Barcelona as soon as his loan spell ends next summer.
The captures of Simakan and Bastoni would be particularly impressive for Spurs. They are both fairly young defenders who could develop into top stars in the European game.
McKennie is a step below the pair, although the American is still a decent player in his own right. And Spurs will need good squad players like McKennie if they are to ever catch up with Manchester City.
It seems Spurs are preparing to go big in January and sign three stars. This could set them up for a grandstand finish in the 2022-23 campaign.