Talk of Inter Milan centre-back Alessandro Bastoni joining Tottenham has once again intensified following events over last weekend.
Spurs were strongly linked with Bastoni, along with his Inter teammate Milan Skriniar, last summer but ended up bringing in Clement Lenglet on loan from Barcelona instead.
However, there was always a feeling that Antonio Conte wanted to revisit the possibility of signing either player in 2023.
That is largely down to the fact that there is no obligation to buy Lenglet from Barca, which leaves a potential vacancy in Tottenham’s back three.
And now, following events on Sunday, Tottenham are once again being linked with Bastoni.
Inter boss Simone Inzaghi hauled the 23-year-old off within the opening 30 minutes of the 3-1 Serie A loss to Udinese.
The Nerazzurri boss decided to make a double change when he replaced Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Bastoni in the 30th minute at the Dacia Arena.
Both players had been cautioned within the opening 20 minutes, but Bastoni was not impressed.
A report on Football Italia said: “As highlighted by DAZN, Bastoni, in particular, was furious after being taken off the pitch by Inzaghi, kicking a seat on the bench multiple times.
“Teammate Robin Gosens tried to calm him down by commenting on how many were watching his reaction.
“It was the 23-year-old Italian centre-back’s first booking of the Serie A season. And he clearly wasn’t impressed with Inzaghi’s cautious actions.”
Tottenham interest peaked again
Inter were adamant over the summer that the player would not be sold for less than their £53million valuation.
However, that valuation is likely to come down in the new year, given the player’s contract status.
Bastoni’s current deal runs out in the summer of 2024, meaning he could decide to start running it down.
That would put all the leverage in the player’s hands and could in turn spark a scramble for his signature.
Bastoni fits perfectly in Conte system
Bastoni fits perfectly as the left-sided centre-back in Conte’s back-three system. And the fact that he started out as a left-back and is comfortable pushing forward, mirrors what Conte has done with Ben Davies and also Lenglet.
The defender is widely regarded as one of the top defenders in Serie A and Spurs could have a fight on their hands to land his signature. But the lure of playing under Conte in the Premier League could be too good to turn down.
Tottenham will just be hoping that the transfer fee will drop significantly. That’s largely due to the fact they splashed out £45million on Cristian Romero over the summer.
Spurs are back in Premier League action on Saturday October 1 when they head to Arsenal.
However, Conte will be keeping his fingers crossed over the fitness of skipper Hugo Lloris.
The France star has been ruled out of their upcoming Nations League games with a thigh injury. To that end, he is also considered a major doubt for the north London derby.