Tottenham are reportedly holding a ‘secret weapon’ as Antonio Conte aims to hijack Josko Gvardiol’s proposed transfer to London rivals Chelsea next summer.
Conte brought on seven players over the summer but has made it clear that he wants more new additions in the January window as Spurs push for another top-four finish.
Tottenham are currently three points clear of Manchester United in fifth, although the Red Devils have a game in hand.
Conte knows that if he wants to bring in the targets he wants then Champions League football is a must.
Both players are currently representing Croatia at the World Cup in Qatar. And it’s fair to say that they’ve started the tournament well.
Perisic notched two assists in the 4-1 win over Canada on Sunday, while Gvardiol has looked commanding in both group games so far.
In an ideal world, Conte wants to add another centre-back in January. However, if he’s forced to wait until the summer to land Gvardiol then it will be worth that wait.
Chelsea have been tipped as the favourites to sign Gvardiol and have a Croatian link themselves in the form of Mateo Kovacic.
However, the report adds that Perisic is actively trying to convince the 20-year-old to snub a Stamford Bridge switch in favour of moving to north London instead.
Leipzig are certain to demand in the region of £70million for the centre-back. However, Gvardiol would be a massive addition to Conte’s back three. And his quality is rivalled only by Cristian Romero in Tottenham’s current backline.
Another Croatian also on Tottenham radar
Meanwhile, Spurs are also said to be chasing another Croatian defender in the shape of Bosko Sutalo.
The Dinamo Zagreb star, 22, missed out on the World Cup squad. However, he is considered one of the up-and-coming stars of Croatian football.
He’s already won 19 caps for the Under-21 side and is expected to challenge in the senior set-up soon.
As for Tottenham’s need to upgrade Conte’s three-man backline, having Romero and Gvardiol either side of Eric Dier would give them tremendous balance and power at the back.
Gvardiol is also blessed with tremendous pace for a central defender. That’s not something that can be said for both Romero and Dier.
Signing the Croatian would be massive coup for Conte and a real shot in the eye for Chelsea. However, there is still plenty of work to be done yet. And the way Gvardiol is playing at this World Cup could see his price driven even higher.
Tottenham are back in action on Boxing Day when they head to London rivals Brentford.