Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham told €40m will seal nonsensical centre-back deal, unless sting in the tail becomes reality

Riccardo Calafiori, Tottenham chase

Tottenham continue to chase centre-back target Riccardo Calafiori

Tottenham have been told they will need to fork out €40million if they want to sign a back-up centre-back this summer in a move that could end up have a bearing on a major exit.

Ange Postecoglou has made strengthening the spine of his side his main priority during the summer transfer window, with another centre-back, at least one but potentially two new midfielders a top-class No.9 all on his radar.

However, that focus is not stopping the opportunity to bolster other areas of the team, hence the continued speculation over a move to secure the services of Eberechi Eze.

Those links are strong, with Tottenham ready to activate the £60m exit clause the England international has in place at Crystal Palace fr a player Postecoglou is a massive admirer of.

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But in terms of another centre-back recruit, the Australian wants another body on board to give him the perfect rotational quartet to cover for injuries and suspensions ahead of the coming season.

After a sensational start to last season, the wheels fell of when Micky van de Ven suffered a hamstring injury that ruled him out for more than two months and then Cristian Romero was banned for four games in quick succession.

That left Ben Davies and Emerson Royal having to fill in at centre-back, with Postecoglou not willing to throw in natural central defender Eric Dier instead.

Radu Dragusin was then brought in from Genoa in the January window to provide cover but largely had a watching brief until a change in tactics towards the end of the season saw the Romanian brought on and Van de Ven moved to left-back.

However, Postecoglou is desperate to avoid the same scenario that went some way to derailing the club’s season last time around and is known to have been hunting more central defenders from Serie A – a strong hunting ground for Spurs in recent seasons, with the help of former sporting director Fabio Paratici.

Of all the names linked, Riccardo Calafiori is the one that keeps popping up the most.

The Bologna star, who is also on Juventus’ radar, is currently at Euro 2024 with Italy and started their opening group win over Albania, with Tottenham scouts almost certainly in attendance.

Calafiori price tag on the rise

Having initially been quoted a figure in the region of €34m (£29m), Calciomercato reports that figure has now gone up to €40m (£34m) and could only keep rising if Calafiori continues to impress in Germany.

But from Tottenham and Daniel Levy’s point of view, it appears to make very little sense to splash out that sort of money on another back-up for Romero and Van de Ven as a ‘just in case’.

Indeed, that sort of money would be better used adding to the budget to sign a dominant central midfielder or a prolific striker.

There’s no denying that Calafiori is a quality performer but why would he swap Champions League football next season for the chance to be a regular starter in the Europa League alongside Radu Dragusin.

That is unless there is more to the Romero to Real Madrid rumours than is currently known.

Transfer insider Fabrizio Romano recently revealed that Tottenham have no intention of selling the Argentine, but those rumours are refusing to go away.

Postecoglou made the World Cup winner one of his vice-captains on arrival at the club but was visibly frustrated by some of antics last season that saw one red card and could easily have produced a couple more via VAR.

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So perhaps there is more to the Real talk than is being let on, either that or the Calafiori rumours have little or zero substance.

Either way, it’s still expected to be a busy old summer for Tottenham as Postecoglou looks to probably bring in four or five and ship out a number of fringe players.