Tottenham Hotspur have joined the race for a former Fabio Paratici signing at Juventus who would fit in well for Antonio Conte, according to reports.
Tottenham are in transition following the appointment of Conte as their new head coach recently. He will help the next stage of their rebuild, which began with the introduction of Paratici as managing director for the summer.
The former Juventus chief was busy in the transfer market, bringing in Cristian Romero, Pierluigi Gollini, Bryan Gil and Emerson Royal for the present and Pape Matar Sarr for the future.
But there are still areas of their team they need to evolve further. Conte has always been demanding at his various clubs in the transfer market and will want extra reinforcements.
According to Football Insider, one big-name player that is now on Tottenham’s radar is Juventus centre-back Matthijs De Ligt.
Paratici was working for the Serie A club when they made him the most expensive defender signing in the league’s history. However, the big investment hasn’t fully paid off due to the Dutchman’s up-and-down form.
He has found some more consistency in recent months, but remains behind veteran duo Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci in the Juve hierarchy.
Nevertheless, Juventus are working to keep hold of him for the long-term. A recent update said they would extend his contract by a year but reduce his release clause amid links with Chelsea.
Now, there is another London-based competitor for his signature if Football Insider are to be believed.
The online outlet claims Tottenham have made it a “priority” to sign an elite centre-back in January. Furthermore, Paratici believes De Ligt is gettable.
The 22-year-old’s agent, Mino Raiola, recently refused to react to claims over De Ligt’s Juventus future.
He said: “Staying at Juventus or leaving? We should do this interview in May… it’s November now. It’s not time to talk about it.”
If Tottenham firm up the plans that Football Insider are indicating, though, Raiola may have something to say in January instead.
De Ligt remains under contract in Turin until 2024. He has a €120m release clause after costing Juventus an initial €75m when they took him from Ajax in 2019.
The Old Lady would want to recoup a decent fee to sell the Netherlands international. So, it remains to be seen how much Tottenham are willing to spend.
Tottenham linked with Matthijs De Ligt teammate
Football Insider are keen to remind that Tottenham have also been linked with another Dutch defender before De Ligt.
His international teammate Stefan De Vrij is also reportedly of interest. He was instrumental for Conte at Inter Milan as they toppled Juventus off their perch and took the Serie A title last season.
But Inter have been dealing with severe financial difficulties, forcing them to sell several key players (and lose Conte).
There is a feeling that they would not be against cashing in on De Vrij despite his importance to the team.
A reunion with Conte would make a lot of sense for the 29-year-old, despite him recently denying any approach from his former boss.
De Vrij has also been linked with Newcastle United, but Tottenham are in a healthier position in the table.
They may now be deciding between him and his compatriot, though, in a choice between experience and potential. De Ligt would likely cost a lot more than De Vrij. So, they must work out who is better value for money.