Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has reportedly drawn up a four-man wishlist as he bids to find a long-term successor to Hugo Lloris in 2023.
The long-serving France international moved to Spurs from Lyon all the way back in summer 2012. Now in his 11th season at the club, the 35-year-old has clocked up well over 400 appearances for the club. Indeed, he remains Tottenham’s longest-serving player by some margin, having played under six different managers.
His current deal at Spurs is due to expire in summer 2024, having signed an extension in January of this year. However, he was strongly linked with a move to hometown club Nice earlier this summer.
While that move did not materialise – the Ligue 1 side signed Kasper Schmeichel instead – Lloris’ position at the club remains the subject of some uncertainty.
Indeed, reports earlier this week suggested Conte is stepping up his hunt to replace him in 2023. Whether that happens in January, or over the summer, remains to be seen. But it seems the Spurs manager has made up his mind about drafting in a successor.
Now, reports claim Conte has four potential targets in mind to replace Lloris in the Tottenham goal.
Indeed, the Spurs boss was recently linked with a move for Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier. The 22-year-old is the second youngest stopper in the Premier League but is earning a big reputation in the game. Indeed, he was recently branded Leeds United’s most valuable asset.
And while Tottenham remain keen on the France U21 keeper, it seems Conte also has other options in mind.
A more ambitious target is Atletico Madrid keeper Jan Oblak. The 29-year-old Slovenian is regarded as one of the world’s elite goalkeepers, and would come with a hefty tag.
Marc Andre Ter Stegen the favoured Hugo Lloris successor
However, rumours are gathering pace that he may be lured to England.
Signing Oblak, though, will be far from easy, especially with Manchester United also looking at him as a successor to David De Gea. That said, Tottenham may have the edge in any race for Oblak, according to one pundit.
As per Jeunes Footeux, Tottenham are also looking at Nantes Alban Lafont as another option.
However, the French outlet claims their No 1 target is actually Barcelona star Marc Andre ter Stegen.
The Germany keeper is contracted to Barcelona until summer 2025. However, reports claim the LaLiga giants are not adverse to selling him for the right price.
He is also reportedly tempted to test himself in the Premier League and may see Tottenham as a genuine transfer opening, given Lloris’ position.
The 30-year-old has won 14 major honours with Barcelona, including four LaLiga titles. He has also won 30 caps for Germany – a figure that would have been far higher but for the immovable presence of Manuel Neuer.
Garth Crooks brands Spurs star a liability
Whoever Spurs go for, it seems Lloris’ position at Tottenham looks especially vulnerable for the first time. He came in for criticism following Saturday’s North London derby defeat, spilling an easy save allowing Arsenal to regain the lead.
And it seems former Spurs striker-turned-pundit Garth Crooks has also questioned the 35-year-old’s capabilities.
Lloris has made 21 errors leading to goals during his time at Spurs, with 11 of those coming in 91 games vs the Big Six. The other 10 have been spread over 253 matches against everyone else.
Writing in his BBC column, Crooks stated: “Meanwhile, Antonio Conte’s Spurs have to learn to keep calm and hold their nerve in big games if they are to be taken seriously or have any chance of winning trophies this season. “
“Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris makes ordinary saves look unnecessarily spectacular and is a liability in the games that matter.”
Whether Crooks makes a fair point, it seems the statistics will back him up. Time will tell if Conte decides to replace him, though it does appear moves are being made behind the scenes.