Tottenham sanction shock second right-back exit as bizarre deal with La Liga giants nears completion

Emerson Royal, Bryan Gil and Matt Doherty

A second casualty of Tottenham’s impending signing of Pedro Porro has been revealed, with another existing right-back on the verge of leaving for a destination that nobody saw coming.

Antonio Conte has been desperate for an upgrade at right-back this month. He has not been confident about the ability of Emerson Royal, Matt Doherty or Djed Spence. Hence, Spurs have been trying to sign Porro from Sporting CP as a new starter.

There were some recent fears that the deal would be off, but Porro is finally on the verge of becoming a Tottenham player. His form with Sporting indicates he should be a better option than what Conte has had in the first half of the season.

Naturally, the existing trio have been facing questions about their futures. After all, it does not make sense for Tottenham to have four right-backs in their squad.

Spence has been undergoing a medical with Rennes before a loan exit. He only joined Spurs in the summer, but is not a Conte player and needs to develop elsewhere.

But it is now emerging that Doherty is also set to depart in a frankly remarkable transfer.

According to Marca – whose reveal has since been given the “here we go” treatment by Fabrizio Romano – Doherty is closing in on a loan move to La Liga giants Atletico Madrid.

Back in 2019, Atletico signed Kieran Trippier from Tottenham. Now, 12 months after selling the England international to Newcastle, they are raiding Spurs again for another right-back.

The 31-year-old has now been booked in for a medical after the agreement between Atletico and Tottenham.

New challenge awaits Matt Doherty in Spain

Doherty has never played overseas, having started out with Wolves before earning his move to Tottenham in 2020.

Despite arriving in north London with a good reputation, Doherty has struggled for consistency over the past two-and-a-half years. From 71 Tottenham appearances, he has only contributed three goals and nine assists.

For perspective, he contributed to the same amount of goals (with seven of his own and five assists) in his last season with Wolves alone.

This season, he has made 16 appearances, scoring once. However, only seven of his 12 Premier League outings have come as a starter and he has only completed 90 minutes on three occasions.

Now, the Republic of Ireland international could be on his way to Spain. Atletico Madrid are fourth in La Liga at the halfway stage, so he would be joining an exciting project despite their recent elimination from Europe.

At right-back, he will be competing with Nahuel Molina for a starting berth at Estadio Metropolitano.

The loan deal will not contain any kind of purchase clause. Doherty’s contract with Tottenham is due to expire at the end of next season.

It remains to be seen if he will ever represent the club again. For the rest of the season at least, their options on the right-hand side should be Porro and Emerson.

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