Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham lock on to £25.5m centre-back who humbled Harry Kane, as defensive exodus collects new names

Stuttgart centre-back Hiroki Ito, Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane

Spurs are sizing up a Bundesliga centre-half

Tottenham are weighing up a move for a Bundesliga defender who one-upped Harry Kane last season, while Spurs’ mass clear-out at the back is beginning to ramp up.

Despite signing Micky van de Ven last summer and Radu Dragusin in January, Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou has called for another addition at centre-half.

Speaking in March, Postecoglou said: “If you’re saying ‘is it an area we can strengthen?’, yes it’s an area we will probably look at.

“With all these things it’s about trying to strengthen the group as much as anything else. If you think about when I first arrived, we had maybe six or seven centre-backs at the club. So it’s not just numbers.

“It’s more about the ability of those players to play the football we want and to fit in to what we’re trying to build here.

“I think it is an area of the park we will look to strengthen, but I think we’ll look to strengthen all areas of the park come the end of the season. That’s planning that’s already underway, and other people are in charge of it at the moment.”

Spurs will compete in the Europa League next term and must possess excellent strength in depth or run the risk of their season running aground.

Nonetheless, the club are determined to clear out the deadwood and a large number of exits will come in defence.

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Defensive exodus takes shape

Tottenham recently confirmed Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga will leave the club outright when their contracts expire at the end of June.

Dier will stay with Bayern Munich where he spent the last six months on loan. Tanganga is expected to join Millwall outright following a successful loan spell. Elsewhere, Ryan Sessegnon will also depart as a free agent later this month.

Joe Rodon is another who could leave and Tottenham will listen to offers for for the Wales international.

A permanent switch to Leeds United had been on the cards if the Whites won promotion, though their agonising failure in the play-offs means they’re more likely to be sellers than buyers this summer.

Djed Spence has the green light to leave and is courting interest from Serie A side Genoa where he was loaned to earlier this year.

Finally, Emerson Royal is on the chopping block and wanted at AC Milan, while Sergio Reguilon is free to find a new club.

With so many defenders leaving, a series of new additions are required for the rearguard.

Tottenham eye 17-cap Japan international

According to multiple sources, Stuttgart’s Japan international, Hiroki Ito, is being considered.

The 25-year-old left-footer is a centre-half by trade, though is equally comfortable deputising at left-back.

Ito’s existing deal with Stuttgart contains a release clause worth €30m/£25.5m. Whether Spurs would activate the clause or attempt to secure a deal for a lower fee isn’t yet clear.

In any case, multiple outlets confirm Ito is being considered by Tottenham on the back of a superb campaign in Germany.

Indeed, it’s common knowledge Harry Kane’s search for major silverware did not end despite signing for Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich.

Bayern surrendered their stranglehold on the Bundesliga to Bayer Leverkusen. However, what quietly went under the radar was the fact Bayern did not even finish second.

That honour went to Ito’s Stuttgart who pipped Bayern to the runners-up spot by a single point.

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