Conte casts doubt over Tottenham future
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Tottenham are reportedly very close to signing Barcelona centre-back Clement Lenglet on loan after his manager Xavi told him to leave the Nou Camp. Spurs will be playing Champions League football next season after finishing fourth in the Premier League last time out – and boss Antonio Conte is desperate to bolster his squad.
Tottenham have already signed three players this summer as they prepare to embark on a campaign in Europe’s elite club competition. The Lilywhites spent more than £25million to sign midfielder Yves Bissouma from Brighton, while defender Ivan Perisic and goalkeeper Fraser Forster will arrive on free transfers from Inter Milan and Southampton respectively.
Conte is clearly keen for a centre-back, however, with Lenglet among the leading candidates to move to the capital. And, according to Esports RAC1, there are movements in the defender’s inevitable Barca exit as progress is being made over a move to Spurs. The 27-year-old struggled for game time last season and was told weeks ago by Xavi to look for a way out of the club.
Lenglet arrived at the Nou Camp on a five-year deal from Sevilla in the summer of 2018 after the Catalan giants shelled out £32m to sign him. And he was slapped with a £265m release clause following a sensational solo season in Andalusia.
The France international has racked up 159 appearances for Barcelona and helped his team win the La Liga title in 2019 and the Spanish Cup two years later. But he hasn’t always been able to command a regular starting place and could face increased competition to pull on the Barca shirt if his employers manage to land their target Jules Kounde. So a move away from the club could be the best solution for the player.
Conte likes to utilise three central defenders in his team, with Ben Davies, Eric Dier and Cristian Romero often his preferred trio last season. But the left-footed Lenglet would likely go straight into the Spurs line-up if he agrees to move to England.
Conte enjoyed a successful first season at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after replacing the sacked Nuno Espirito Santo last November and guided his side back to the Champions League for the first time since the 2019/20 campaign. But he knows his defence must improve if his side are to make a good impression in Europe.
Spurs have been linked with a whole host of defenders in recent weeks, including Inter Milan’s Alessandro Bastoni, RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol, Villarreal’s Pau Torres and Torino’s Gleison Bremer. But Lenglet, who has won 15 caps for his country, could be the man to pen a deal at the club and head to north London.
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