90min
Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham's centre-back transfer targets - ranked

Robbie Copeland
Coady and Boly have both been linked with moves to North London
Coady and Boly have both been linked with moves to North London / OLI SCARFF/Getty Images
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The Nuno Espirito Santo era is underway at Tottenham, and the new boss is looking to build a functioning team out of the disjointed rabble that tried its best to miss out on the Europa Conference League last season.

The new boss needs signings all over the pitch, but a new centre-back or two is high on the list of priorities...especially if Nuno wants to play three of them at once as he did at Wolves.

As is the norm in the transfer window, Spurs have been linked with various names of wide-ranging abilities, and some of them look far more realistic than others. So we've sifted through the rumour mill and assessed each of them on how likely they are to arrive at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this summer.

Remember, it's on likelihood, and not ability, before anyone starts...


9. Willy Boly

Willy Boly
Boly is certainly a player who has been linked with Tottenham / Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Now don't get me wrong, Daniel Levy likes an underwhelming signing. But would he really go this far?

30-year-old Boly is a decent Premier League centre half, but he's too limited to be anything more than that. Throw in the fact that he wasn't even a regular under Santo in his last season at Wolves (hampered by injuries, granted), and yeah, this one doesn't quite add up.


8. Jules Kounde

Jules Kounde
Kounde would be an excellent signing from Spurs...but it's not likely to happen / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

From one extreme to the other, Sevilla star Kounde is exactly the sort of signing Tottenham should be going for this summer.

And that's precisely why it probably won't happen.

It would be a sideways-at-best move for Kounde, and from Spurs' perspective, he'd cost a hell of a lot of money. More than they can reasonably afford.


7. Clement Lenglet

Clément Lenglet, Breel Embolo
Lenglet sticking his head where it hurts / Marcio Machado/Getty Images

Barcelona are a bit of a dumpster fire. No, scratch that, Barcelona are a eternally burning landfill site.

Their desperate financial situation means they are selling off assets like a thrift store going out of business, and except for a handful of untouchable first-team stars, virtually all of their squad is available for transfer.

That includes France defender Lenglet, who has mostly put his injury issues behind him to become a regular for club and country over the past two seasons.

But would he want to go to Spurs and play in the Europa Conference League? That remains to be seen.


6. Nikola Maksimovic

Nikola Maksimovic
Maksimovic is available for free after leaving Napoli / Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Pros: Versatile, handsome, good at headers, available for free
Cons: Almost everything else


5. Maxence Lacroix

Maxence Lacroix, Christopher Nkunku
Lacroix would be an ambitious signing for Tottenham / Cathrin Mueller/Getty Images

21-year-old Lacroix has been touted as a long-term replacement for Sergio Ramos at PSG, and after a pretty stunning season for Wolfsburg last term, it's easy to see why.

Spurs would have to show some real intent to get this one over the line considering the competition from elsewhere in Europe, but it's not outside the realms of possibility.


4. Joachim Andersen

You can already see the Sky Sports News headlines about a loan with an obligation to buy being finalised with seconds left on the Deadline Day ticker, can't you?

Andersen had a strong season with Fulham last term despite the Cottagers' relegation, and he wouldn't be the worst signing for Spurs. But there is just a whiff of the underwhelming about it.


3. Conor Coady

Coady made about 500 appearances in four years under Santo at Wolves. The Portuguese really, really loves him.

And while they are desperate not to lose their long-serving captain at the same time as their manager, it may just be the perfect time for Coady to leave and link up with his former boss at a bigger club.


2. Cristian Romero

Cristian Romero
Romero is one of the more recent targets / Marco Canoniero/Getty Images

Yeah, this one makes sense, right?

Reports recently emerged claiming Fabio Paratici is in 'advanced talks' with Atalanta to sign the 23-year-old. Confusingly, though, he is still a Juventus player - so Atalanta would first have to trigger a £14m option to buy, and then immediately sell him to Spurs for a huge markup.

He's more or less the right profile for Tottenham. At 23, his best years are still ahead of him, but he has a decent amount of top-level experience under his belt and would be ready for the first-team right away.

The issue once again is whether he would leave one of the best sides in Serie A for a Premier League side stuck in transition, but the ambition of Santo and Paratici could convince him.


1. Takehiro Tomiyasu

Tomiyasu was one of the first centre-back targets to emerge after Santo's arrival, and it's pretty obvious a deal is close to being done.

Spurs have identified the Japan star, who can also play right-back, as the ideal defensive signing, and a valuation of around £20m means they can sign him and still keep enough in the bank for another defender.

They want to get the deal done during the Olympics, where he will represent Japan on home soil. They kick off against Mexico on Sunday 25 July.


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