Transfer Talk: Conte's summer targets as Spurs inject £150million
Tottenham announced a £150million capital increase this week, with reports stating Antonio Conte would be given the majority for transfers.
The Italian has pressured the Spurs board in numerous interviews by insisting an overhaul of the squad is needed in order to compete for titles — and securing a top-four finish was a timely boost.
We take a look at the positions and players the North London club could target this summer now that Conte's wish of substantial financial backing appears to have been granted by chairman Daniel Levy.
Spurs have reportedly signed Fraser Forster, 34, from Southampton on a free transfer as a back-up for Hugo Lloris with loanee Pierluigi Gollini set to return to parent club Atalanta.
Conte will be after centre-backs this summer to deploy in his 3-5-2 set-up.
The club have been strongly linked with Inter Milan star Alessandro Bastoni and RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol, who are both young, bursting with potential and can slot in on the left of a three.
The arrival of Bastoni, 23, would echo the signing of Cristian Romero from Atalanta last summer.
Romero has rapidly become a fan favourite and displays a similar playing style — both are aggressive, composed and can pick a pass.
Gvardiol, 20, has also attracted attention from Chelsea but it remains unknown whether Conte would prefer nurturing his talent or opting for the more experienced Bastoni.
Serie A Defender of the Season Gleison Bremer is one of Spurs’ top targets for the central position in the back three.
Bremer, 25, was in the heart of the Torino defence that conceded the fewest goals of any Serie A team outside the top four and his aerial ability and knack of making interceptions will have impressed Conte.
Wing-backs are an important cog in Conte’s system, as demonstrated in his set-ups at Chelsea and Inter.
Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon are both thought to be out of favour, while Ryan Sessegnon has certainly improved but may not match the calibre of player the Italian needs to challenge for silverware, although remains a good back-up option.
Eintracht Frankfurt’s 29-year-old wing-back Filip Kostic, who is reportedly available for only £12m with a year left on his contract, is rumoured to be on Tottenham’s radar.
Other options include the versatile and two-footed Ivan Perisic, who thrived on the left flank under Conte at Inter, and Brighton Player of the Season Marc Cucurella.
Spurs will look at signing another central midfielder despite January arrival Rodrigo Bentancur’s brilliant performances and young star Oliver Skipp’s impending return from injury.
Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is on their radar, with Harry Winks looking set for an exit.
The Serbian has thrived in Serie A this season, with 11 goals and 11 assists, and has the ability to control the tempo of the game.
Spurs are also lacking a creative midfielder to play further up the pitch and open up defences that sit back against them, wary of their counter-attacking nature.
They have not been able to replace Christian Eriksen as £40m Giovani Lo Celso and record £55m signing Tanguy Ndombele have failed to impress.
Tottenham's lack of creativity in midfield had been evident before the arrival of Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski in January, particularly when they became the first top-flight team to go six straight halves without registering a shot on target since Opta started recording the stat.
Levy did not want to let Erisken leave for Conte’s Inter in 2020 but the Danish maestro was keen for a new challenge and has since returned to his best during his six-month deal at Brentford.
Eriksen, 30, revealed last month that he is "still a Spurs fan" and will be available on a free. His wage demands will also not be high, pointing at a potential return to North London.
It is likely the Lilywhites will pursue either a winger or striker this summer, with the club yet to have signed a long-term back-up to Harry Kane.
Steven Bergwijn has been linked with a move to Ajax after a move was blocked in January, while Lucas Moura struggled for consistency and youngster Bryan Gil could be loaned out again.
Spurs are rumoured to be battling it out with rivals Arsenal for Gabriel Jesus, who tends to drift out wide and could be the perfect addition having chipped in with 13 goals and nine assists for City this season.
Raheem Sterling and Christopher Nkunku are also thought to be targets, with the former the most realistic option of the two.
A new era
It is time for fans to get excited about what is to come under Conte after he managed to vastly improve the team in a matter of months.
With the influx of Champions League money, alongside TV revenue and transfer outgoings on top of the £150m injection of cash, any doubts the tactician would not be backed have evaporated.
The Italian described his side’s top-four finish as like "winning a title" — but his ambitions to secure silverware next season make this summer a potential watershed moment in the club's history.