Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou reportedly feels a deal is there to be done for Lloyd Kelly in January, amid claims Bournemouth will be forced to cash in on the Liverpool target when the winter window opens for business.
The Aussie enjoyed a flying start to his reign as Tottenham boss and had the team top of the table after 10 games, having won eight and drawn just two of their openers. However, the Chelsea game earlier this month – which saw Spurs pick up two red cards and a series of untimely injuries on their way to a 4-1 home defeat – has seemingly proved a real turning point in their season.
And while they have taken the lead in their last three matches, all three games have resulted in defeats to leave Postecoglou’s side down in fifth and four points off the summit.
The loss of James Maddison has certainly hit Tottenham hard, but it is in the centre of defence where Spurs look lightest.
One of those injuries in that aforementioned game was summer signing Micky van der Ven, who had made a brilliant start to his Spurs career. But after sustaining a hamstring injury in the matchj, the Dutchman is now out of action until January at the earliest.
And with Cristian Romero serving a ban, Spurs have been forced to operate with a makeshift central defence of Ben Davies and Eric Dier in recent games.
With Dier seemingly cleared to leave Tottenham in January – his deal is due to expire at the end of the season anyway – the focus in recent weeks has turned to potential replacements.
To that end, Postecoglou seemingly has a four-man defensive wishlist to fill that void.
Four signings taken off the table for Postecoglou
Of those, Postecoglou would love to get his hands on Edmond Tapsoba, the dominant Burkina Faso centre-half.
He’s been starring in Germany for Bayer Leverkusen, but any deal for the 24-year-old appears to be off the table with Xabi Alonso’s side placing a minimum €60m (£51.9m) valuation on his head.
It would also be equally as tough to prise two other defenders Postecoglou reportedly has his eyes on. Indeed, both Marc Guehi of Crystal Palace and Everton’s Jarrod Braithwaite would not be sold for any price midway through the season.
The situations for both players could, however, change come the summer depending on their individual situations.
Guehi, who appears a favourite of Gareth Southgate with England, finds himself a man in high demand with Manchester United also among his admirers.
He is currently also valued at around the £50m mark.
Come the summer, he is likely to have outgrown Crystal Palace and a move higher up the food chain will be difficult to prevent. Spurs could potentially compete for his signature come the summer, but a deal in the winter window appears highly implausible.
Everton are also confident of retaining Branthwaite – as well as several of their other top stars – in January, despite the 10-point penalty imposed by the Premier League.
However, their situation could change dramatically come the summer and more over in the possible event of relegation.
Spurs are also being linked with a move for Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo, who has enjoyed an excellent season with Nice.
Also wanted by Manchester United, the London Evening Standard claims he is unlikely to ditch the Ligue 1 side midway through the season in which they are currently unbeaten and well placed to challenge for title glory against PSG.
Tottenham will find Lloyd Kelly easiest to sign
However, the same outlet claims Spurs will likely have some joy if they pursue a move for their fourth target – Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly.
The 25-year-old is out of contract come the summer and the Cherries will likely find a bid in the region of £25m hard to resist.
Kelly has also been linked with a move to Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp also in the market for a new left-sided centre-half.
But it is Tottenham who appear favourites to land the centre-half, who has worn the armband for Andoni Iraola’s side this season.
They are trying to tie Kelly to a new deal but it’s understood they will have little option but to listen to offers for him in January if he continues to resist attempts to tie him down.
As a result, there is a firm belief at Tottenham that a deal for Kelly can be done in January, with Liverpool likely to push for other options instead.
Kelly signed for Bournemouth back in summer 2019 from Bristol City and has appeared 117 times for the south coast side in both the Premier League and the Championship.