Tottenham need to kick into gear if they want to sign Inter Milan’s Stefan de Vrij after his agent confirmed the Italian side have been in touch about a contract renewal.
De Vrij has been named as a potential signing for Antonio Conte to improve his centre-back options. Tottenham have conceded 10 goals in their six matches since the end of the World Cup, which demonstrates a problem Conte needs to solve.
The manager prefers to go with Cristian Romero, Eric Dier and Ben Davies as a back three. In the recent 4-2 defeat to Manchester City, Conte started those three in defence, before bringing on Clement Lenglet for Davies with 22 minutes left.
However, the loanee was at fault for City’s fourth and final goal, with Riyad Mahrez capitalising on his poor touch and going on to finish past Hugo Lloris.
Lenglet will be gone in the summer as he will head back to Barcelona at the end of his loan. But it is clear Tottenham need to replace him with a more reliable centre-half.
De Vrij could be the perfect solution. He is a solid defender who has helped Inter to win Serie A, a Coppa Italia and a Supercoppa Italiana in recent seasons.
De Vrij knows Conte well, having made 32 league appearances under him as Inter lifted the Serie A title in 2020-21.
Adding to De Vrij’s resume is the fact he has won 59 caps for the Netherlands national team.
Tottenham tipped to make double swoop
On January 2, a report from Italian source Inter Live suggested Spurs could raid Inter for both De Vrij and wing-back Denzel Dumfries. A bid of around £40million was recommended, though the Nerazzuri may hold out for more.
There has now been an update on De Vrij’s situation from his agent, Federico Pastorello. During an interview with Rai Sport (via Football Italia), Pastorello said: “I don’t know if [Milan] Skriniar will go to PSG. But I can say that Inter have called me to speed up negotiations to extend with De Vrij, who is one of my clients.”
It seems Inter are aware of Spurs’ growing interest in the 30-year-old. And they hope to engineer a fresh contract to keep Conte’s side at bay. With De Vrij’s current deal expiring in June, new terms would strengthen their negotiating position hugely.
Pastorello also provided an update on Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret. His contract at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium expires in summer 2024. And Pastorello has now confirmed renewal discussions are underway.
Napoli man a potential signing for Conte
“He experienced some difficult months, he seemed close to leaving, but he reacted as a great man and a great champion,” the representative added.
“We are in talks with Napoli for his contract extension. His deal expires in June 2024, but there are some English clubs interested.”
It is interesting that Pastorello revealed English teams hope to sign Meret. Maybe this is a tactic to try and hurry up Napoli and get them to offer the shot-stopper more money.
Spurs recruitment chiefs may be looking at Meret as a replacement for Lloris. The Frenchman is now 36 years old and will probably hang up his gloves soon. He has already retired from international football.
Spurs have been looking at Brentford’s David Raya as a successor in net. Meret could be an alternative they are lining up.
The Italian has kept 10 clean sheets from 26 games in all competitions so far this season.