Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham to force unsettled player to stay unless Postecoglou secures top-class replacement from seven-man shortlist

Eric Dier and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg of Tottenham

Eric Dier and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg of Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur are in the market for a new centre-back and only once they have landed one will they consider allowing Eric Dier to leave the club, according to reports.

Dier is into the final year of his contract with Tottenham and has only been used by Ange Postecoglou as an emergency measure while summer signing Micky van de Ven has been injured.

One way or another, it is almost certain that Dier will be leaving Tottenham in 2024 after a decade in north London.

However, he may have to be patient and wait until the end of the season to secure his exit on a free transfer unless Spurs can replenish their defensive depth in January.

According to Football Insider, Tottenham’s priority for the next transfer window is to sign another defender to compete with Van de Ven and Cristian Romero.

TEAMtalk revealed last week that the list of players they have been looking at includes Lloyd Kelly from Bournemouth, Trevoh Chalobah from Chelsea, Marc Guehi from Crystal Palace and Tosin Adarabioyo from Fulham.

Further afield, they have been keeping tabs on Borussia Monchengladbach’s Ko Itakura, Torino’s Perr Schuurs and Juventus’ Gleison Bremer.

But if they are unable to sign any of them in January – when, for example, we have revealed that Kelly will be off limits despite also being available on a free in the summer – then the report explains that they might force Dier to stay so they don’t risk losing even more depth.

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In Tottenham’s most recent fixture before the international break, when Van de Ven and Romero were both unavailable, Postecoglou picked Dier as one of his starting centre-backs, next to Ben Davies.

Ashley Phillips, who arrived in the summer, was on the bench, but is viewed as more of a long-term prospect.

Therefore, Tottenham will want to ensure they have a third senior option to rotate with Van de Ven and Romero before committing to selling Dier.

That said, January could well be their last chance to cash in on the England international.

Dier has been linked with a move abroad to Roma, having said to have been in contact with his former Spurs boss Jose Mourinho, or a return to Sporting after his previous spell playing in Lisbon.

Earlier this week, the 29-year-old admitted he can imagine being back in Portugal, the country he grew up in, but couldn’t assertively say whether that will be while his playing career is still ongoing.

“One day I am sure I will be back,” he said. “I think it is inevitable, if my wife wants to, we’ll come back one day to live when I have finished my career.

“To come back and play here, you never know, I can’t say.

“Sporting is my club, it will always be my club, it’s where I spent 12 years. Portugal as well for me is my home.

“I’m 29 so I hope I have a lot of years left to play. I’m still young. Football is my priority.”

Eric Dier due for new challenge

Dier has played 363 times for Tottenham since they signed him from Sporting in 2014. Although he is able to play as a defensive midfielder or centre-back, his inconsistent performances have made him one of the less popular members of Postecoglou’s squad.

But you don’t play that many games for Tottenham and 49 times for England without having something about you, so Dier will be keen to show what he is really about at his next club.

Unless Spurs can find a more reliable replacement in the coming weeks, that next challenge will only commence next season.

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