With just two pre-season games remaining before they face Brentford in their first Premier League game of the season on August 13, Tottenham Hotspur are still yet to sign a new centre-back this summer window- despite manager Ange Postecoglou stating earlier this week that he wants to “bring in at least one” before the beginning of the campaign.
Whilst several names are being linked with a move both to and away from the Tottenham Hotspur stadium and moves are being worked on by the club, none have fully materialized so far.
As a result, we are going to give you an update on the current situation in Spurs’ centre-back department.
We’ll begin with potential incomings, where despite having opened talks with Micky Van de Ven last month, there has currently been no progression in a potential deal with Wolfsburg for the Dutchman. There have even been suggestions that the deal could be off, with Spurs having come away from talks with the feeling that the German side have no intention to sell the player, according to Charlie Eccleshare of The Athletic.
The 22-year-old signed for Wolfsburg for €3.5m from Volendam in July 2021 and had an underwhelming first season in Germany, but has significantly improved under Croatian manager Niko Kovač over the past year. A left-footer and standing at 6’4″, Van de Ven has predominantly played on the left side of a back three in defence over the past season, where he has featured in more Bundesliga minutes than any other outfield player in his team and consistently displayed his excellent physicality, speed, and ability to progress the ball forwards for his side.
With the 22-year-old’s current contract, which was signed in March, running until 2027, this means that Die Wölfe have a strong position in negotiations, however with a new central defender being vital to the London clubs’ plans next season, it is understood that a deal still could be done.
The Lilywhites have also shown interest in Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba, who is seen as a slightly more expensive option- as the German side are likely to demand a fee in excess of €50m to sanction the sale of the 24-year-old, a fee far more than his current market value of €30m, according to Transfermarkt.
The Burkina Faso international boasts a similar profile to that of Van de Ven- standing out with his ability in possession and outstanding athleticism- but has featured on either the left, right, or centre of both a back three and four, demonstrating his versatility. However, although he is comfortable of using his left, Tapsoba is right-footed, which could pose a potential issue in the Australian head coach’s side, due to the difference type of passing angles he is able to create when building out of defence, in comparison to a natural left-footer.
Furthermore, with Leverkusen director of sport Simon Rolfes stating in a publication with Kicker that “there is no reason for us to think about letting him go”, when speaking about the potential sale of their defender, it is looking unlikely that he will make the move to North London this summer.
Fulham’s Tosin Adarabioyo and Barcelona’s Clément Lenglet have also been of interest as potential back-up options. With a contract set to expire in June 2024, the 25 year-old is reportedly looking for a move away from The Cottagers this summer, whilst the LaLiga champions are looking to offload Lenglet after the Frenchman spent the previous season on loan at Spurs, but it is understood that a deal is not progressing between the two sides, according to Fabrizio Romano.
As for departures, the North London club are expected to make a significant loss on the €42m they spent on Davinson Sánchez in 2017. The Colombian international has been unable to live up to the his potential in the English top flight, and is now set for a move away, with Russian side Spartak Moscow already having tabled a €15m bid for the 27-year-old.
In contrast, the only guaranteed starter in their defence next season, Cristian Romero, has reiterated his committed to the club, stating that he turned down multiple offers to stay at Tottenham this summer, and that he continues to hold the “same “passion” for the side that he always has.
Meanwhile, Eccleshare states that both Japhet Tanganga and Joe Rodon are understood to be available for either a permanent or loan move, whilst Eric Dier and Ben Davies are expected to stay. The former has a year left on his current deal, but is said to be determined and excited to fight for his place under Postecoglou next season, whilst the latter is seen as an emergency option in the centre of defence, instead being preferred as a left-back.
Finally, with the arrivals of James Maddison, Manor Solomon, and Guglielmo Vicario already having been confirmed, Tottenham are now expected to focus their attention on signing “at least one” centre-back this summer. Regardless of who that may be, their Australian head coach will hope that they have officially arrived in his side by the time he takes charge of his first Premier League game against Thomas Frank’s Brentford.
Travis Levison | Get Football