Transfer news: How Tottenham are planning rebuild with Harry Kane wanting Man City move - Inside Football
For many Tottenham Hotspur supporters the appointment of Nuno Espirito Santo was underwhelming - yet the decision has been made and the new boss is now leading the side through a pre-season regime that prepares them for an important new Premier League campaign in which they attempt to return to the top four. Eurosport's football insider, Dean Jones, reports on all the latest at Spurs.
Tottenham Hotspur Manager Nuno Espirito Santo during a Tottenham Hotspur Pre-Season Training Session on July 07, 2021 in Enfield
The headline news is going to be whether Harry Kane stays or goes - but for now Spurs are not considering his departure and are fully focused on how Nuno Espirito Santo puts his stamp on this side.
There will be changes from the Jose Mourinho era, and one of the key factors that persuaded Tottenham’s sporting director Fabio Paratici to recommend him for this job is his ability to improve the set of players put in front of him.
Of course there is his recent work at Wolverhampton Wanderers to look back on but Paratici also used his time at Valencia to convince Daniel Levy that he was the man for the job.
Bologna defender Takehiro Tomiyasu is on his way in and it is no surprise former Juventus chief football officer Paratici has turned straight to Serie A when it comes to recruitment.
Tomiyasu will cost an initial fee of around £15 million, with most of that covered by Juan Foyth’s recent transfer to Villarreal.
Because of the impact of Covid-19 on Tottenham’s finances - Daniel Levy believes it has hit them for about £200 million - it was always expected the club would need to sell in this market.
Yet their work will not end if and when Tomiyasu signs, as Spurs are also targeting another defender.
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Of course there are Serie A players on the shortlist—Milan Skriniar of Inter Milan is a genuine target—yet they have also enquired about Maxence Lacroix of Wolfsburg, Jules Kounde of Sevilla and Lyon’s Joachim Andersen. Work is ongoing in this area and new names are expected to emerge as Paratici puts the feelers out across Europe before narrowing in on the man he feels is best priced, best suited and most keen on joining. Serge Aurier and Toby Alderweireld could both leave. There is also some doubt over the futures of Davinson Sanchez and Eric Dier, yet for now the message is that no offers are coming in.
As part of his versatile nature, Espirito Santo is expected to test different formations, and that will include both a back three with wing-backs and a back four.
And if Spurs fans are looking for assurance that things will be more exciting than under Mourinho then he should deliver that early in his reign. Players will be told to be brave in possession, to play with speed and to be in control of the game. In the early sessions and meetings at their training ground, Spurs players have been pleased with how much emphasis has been on attack.
Midfield is an area that Spurs are generally content with, though they are looking to add one significant signing. The club are open to offers for Moussa Sissoko while Harry Winks will be given a chance to prove himself in the centre of the park along with Oliver Skipp. Yet the club are profiling new options at a time some other targets are looking unlikely.
Examples are in Frank Kessie of AC Milan, who has been scouted but now looks likely to sign a new contract in Italy, and RB Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer is a long-term target yet has other clubs across Europe pursuing him more aggressively - particularly former boss Mourinho at AS Roma.
Una delle immagini della stagione del Milan: Frank Kessie palla in mano pronto a calciare un rigore. Il Milan sembra destinato a rompere un record: 16 rigori in 25 partite
Image credit: Getty Images
Continuing the Italian links, Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini is the latest player to emerge as a target for Spurs.
Meanwhile, the role of Dele Alli as a creative force is likely to be key and save Spurs some money in the transfer market. He will not be joining Paris Saint-Germain and is believed to be completely committed to putting the misery of last season behind him.
Alli is hoping to be an important player and may even be used as a forward, depending how this summer shakes up. Nuno wants the option to play two in attack and with that in mind the club are assessing their current squad and how to recruit.
Heung-Min Son is signing a new contract and next week the situation with Gareth Bale is likely to be back on the agenda at Real Madrid. Spurs remain very open to him returning and have first option for him to do so.
Striker Danny Ings of Southampton is a long-term target, as is Stuttgart’s Sasa Kalajdzic.
This all too must play in with the fact the Kane transfer saga is not over yet - the player still wants to join Manchester City. That is not in Tottenham’s plan and until a bid lands on the table will barely be spoken about.
In the meantime Espirito Santo, Paratici and Levy have a lot of work to do.
And while the appointment of the former Wolves man may not seem particularly exciting from the outside, figures inside the club who have seen him at work in these early days are becoming increasingly optimistic about how this might yet pan out.