Tottenham refusing to give up on £50m Bundesliga centre-back they ‘really like’ despite January transfer twist

Robert Arboleda, Piero Hincapie Ecuador

Tottenham are reportedly ready to step up their interest in Bayer Leverkusen’s Piero Hincapie, with transfer insider Ben Jacobs claiming they ‘really like’ the centre-back.

Spurs actually tried to tempt the Bundesliga side into a deadline-day deal for the Ecuador international, only for Hincapie to remain at the club and then, somewhat surprisingly, put pen to paper on a new deal.

But despite the 21-year-old committing his future to Leverskusen, the north London club have not given up their hopes of signing one of Antonio Conte’s top defensive targets.

That’s according to CBS journalist and TEAMtalk insider Ben Jacobs, who has given an update on the player’s future.

Jacobs claims that Spurs have a genuine like for Hincapie, who is also on the radars of Newcastle and Everton.

The reporter told CaughtOffside: “Tottenham do really like Hincapie and Newcastle and Everton have him on their radar, too.

“I don’t see Everton being able to attract Hincapie, and if they go down there’s obviously no chance.

“Spurs is probably a better fit than Newcastle for Hincapie because Newcastle’s backline basically picks itself right now.

“Whereas Spurs really want a centre-back, and even more so if Lenglet doesn’t become permanent.

“With Milan Skriniar going to PSG and his Inter teammate Alessandro Bastoni not likely to be gettable, Hincapie could become a more urgent priority for Tottenham.

“And if they qualify for the Champions League, there will be a healthy budget to spend again this summer.”

Spurs defence in need of major fix

Tottenham could certainly do with bolstering a defence that has been extremely leaky this season.

Of the three centre-backs that Antonio Conte likes to play only World Cup winner Cristian Romero has come out with any credit this season. However, even the Argentine’s game has dropped back a level since he returned from Qatar.

The likes of Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez, Ben Davies and Japhet Tanganga argualy all need replacing. Meanwhile, as Jacobs says, a permanent deal for Lenglet will almost certainly not happen.

Hincapie certainly has age on his side, and the fact he already has 24 international caps at such a young age also shows his quality at the top level.

He typically plays on the left side of a back three. That makes him a perfect choice to replace Davies or Lenglet.

Hincapie is also good on the ball and comfortable playing out from the back, which Conte likes his left-sided centre-back to do in his system.

However, the player will not come cheap, with his fee likely to be in the region of £50million. That figure was closer to £66m in January though, so that’s some good news at least.

Much will now also depend on whether Tottenham quality for the Champions League this season.

However, with injuries biting hard and Conte’s men also in a poor run of form, at this stage that looks unlikely.

Spurs are back in action on Sunday afternoon when they host West Ham in the Premier League.

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