Spurs have already brought in three new faces after a £150 million cash injection boosted the fiery head coach’s transfer budget – now they want to make an even bigger statement
Image: Tottenham Hotspur FC)
Tottenham’s summer rebuild is already taking shape, with three new signings and head coach Antonio Conte boosted by an injection of £150 million into his transfer pot.
A spirited late run to overhaul north London neighbours Arsenal clinched a top-four spot – and the return of Champions League football for the first time since 2019 – to ease the pressure on chairman Daniel Levy. Conte is prepared to sacrifice fringe players, including Harry Winks, Giovanni Lo Celso and Joe Rodon, to finance his summer trolley dash.
And although he began his shopping early, including Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma for £25 million plus add-ons, the fiery Italian wants at least three more new faces before pre-season training kicks in. Here, Mirror Sport looks at five potential new signings at Tottenham as Conte’s refurbishment of the squad gathers pace.
It seems only a matter of when, not if, the Middlesbrough wing-back completes his switch from Teesside to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
After a stellar season on loan at Nottingham Forest, helping the Tricky Trees to end their 23-year exile from the Premier League with promotion via the play-offs, Spence was a wanted man even before he returned to his parent club. Spurs made an exploratory bid for him in January, which was rejected by Boro, and chairman Daniel Levy is believed to have taken personal charge of negotiations to bring Spence to north London.
Emerson Royal’s hit-and-miss first season at Tottenham, and Matt Doherty’s serious knee injury sustained at Aston Villa on the run-in, has made the right wing-back position a major priority in Conte’s summer makeover. A deal of around £15 million, with add-ons, is thought to be close, and 21-year-old Spence is likely to be the next new face at Tottenham after Fraser Forster, Ivan Perisic and Yves Bissouma.
Exotic flair, crowd-pleaser and expansive on the ball – Leeds’ Brazilian showman ticks all the boxes in Tottenham’s checklist of traditional virtues.
Although Barcelona is believed to be his preferred destination if he leaves Elland Road, and Arsenal have already lodged an interest, don’t rule Spurs out of the equation. Raphinha would cost £50 million-plus, and he is believed to be willing to play a longer waiting game to join the Catalan giants, but on paper a move to the Gunners is less appealing.
Unlike Tottenham, Arsenal cannot offer him Champions League football next season – and it is not obvious how Mikel Arteta would accommodate both Raphinha and Bukayo Saka in a front three.
AFP via Getty Images)
Eyebrows were raised, like the arch above Wembley, when the Everton striker was first linked with a move to north London – but Tottenham hold most of the trump cards.
With 53 goals in 143 starts for the Toffees, Richarlison has a strike rate worthy of a top-six club and, at 25, he is a player approaching his prime. In any permutation, the Brazilian international could play as a lone striker, ride shotgun on the front line with Harry Kane and Heung-min Son or as a winger with pace to burn.
As with Raphinha, Arsenal are contenders but can’t offer the same level of European football as Spurs in the forthcoming campaign. Everton are looking for upwards of £50 million for Richarlison – and if Spurs offered midfielder Harry Winks, who looks surplus to requirements in Antonio Conte’s rebuild in N17, as makeweight in a player-plus-cash deal, Tottenham would be favourites to land him.
Now that Conte has settled on his preferred shape of a back three, supplemented by wing-backs higher up the pitch, a left-sided centre-half is a priority.
Although Italian international Alessandro Bastoni’s agent Tullio Tinti claimed earlier this week that the 23-year-old Inter Milan defender is staying put at the San Siro, Conte has not given up hope of a reunion. The pair worked together when Conte delivered the Serie A title to Inter in 2021, and chief executive Giuseppe Marotta had earlier admitted they would have to cash in on Bastoni or Milan Skriniar.
Bastoni remains Conte’s first choice and Tottenham sporting director Fabio Paratici is ready to rubber-stamp a move for a player rated upwards of £54 million.
Every croupier’s hand contains a wild card, and although he comes with a stonking £100 million price tag, Joao Felix cannot be discounted as a Tottenham target this summer.
The Atletico Madrid forward contributed eight goals and four assists in 24 La Liga games before his season was curtailed by injury. And despite being regarded as an untouchable, with a contract until 2026 at the Wanda Metropolitano, the 22-year-old Portugese’s future with Atletico is less certain – especially if Tottenham offered the Spanish club Giovanni Lo Celso as a makeweight in any deal.
Joao Felix, who was first linked with Spurs three years ago as 19-year-old boy wonder, could play the No.10 role, or even at the front end of a diamond formation. Where he would fit into Conte’s grand design is less certain, but a move for one of La Liga’s brightest talents would be a serious statement of intent from Tottenham that they want to win major trophies in 2022-23, not just contenders.