Tottenham are reportedly targeting a summer move for highly-touted Red Bull Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol.
The 20-year old Croatia international is said to leapt ahead of the likes of Inter star Stefan de Vrij, Villarreal’s Pau Torres and Lille’s Sven Botman as Spurs’ sporting director Fabio Paratici looks to bolster the club’s backline this summer.
Gvardiol joined Leipzig from Dinamo Zagreb in 2020 after turning down an £18million switch to Leeds United.
The player is described as quick, strong in the air and technically good on the ball. He also has the ability to play at left-back and as a defensive midfielder.
Gvardiol has made 33 appearances for Leipzig this season, scoring twice and adding three assists. He has also won nine caps for Croatia.
Leipzig, who splashed out £15m for the player and handed him a five-year contract, are reluctant to leave him leave.
However, they are aware of interest from other clubs – with Tottenham chief among them.
Paratici has been briefed to sign at least one new central defender this summer, given Conte’s preference to play three at the back.
While the Italian rates Eric Dier and Sergio Romero, he is less convinced by Ben Davies and Davinson Sanchez. Joe Rodon and Japhet Tanganga could also be sold this summer in a major upheaval.
Gvardiol is currently valued at £50m by Leipzig, which may put off other suitors. That figure should not be an issue for Spurs, however, especially if they can offload some fringe men first.
Tottenham monitoring top Boro star
Meanwhile, Tottenham have reportedly asked Middlesbrough to keep them informed over the future of youngster Isaiah Jones, who starred in Boro’s shock FA Cup win over the Premier League side.
The Championship side stunned Spurs with a 1-0 win at the Riverside thanks to young striker Josh Coburn’s strike in extra-time. But it was Jones’ performance, operating at right wing-back, that impressed the visitors most.
The right-back position has been an issue for Tottenham since Kyle Walker was sold in 2017.
Sergie Aurier, Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal have all tried but failed to make the position the strength it once was.
And according to 90min, Spurs are tracking Jones after getting first-hand experience of his qualities on Teesside.
The 22-year-old, who can also play as a winger, has notched eight assists this season. His emergence for Boro also allowed them to loan out another Spurs target in Djed Spence to Nottingham Forest.
The report adds that Manchester United, West Ham and Crystal Palace are also watching Jones closely. Meanwhile, European sides Atletico Madrid, Ajax and RB Leipzig are also keeping tabs on the player.
Boro facing Jones concern
Boro will now be hoping they can secure a Premier League return, to avoid losing the likes of Jones.
Chris Wilder’s men currently sit just outside the play-off places. However, if they carry on the level of performance they showed in cup wins over Manchester United and Tottenham then anything is possible.
Boro will also find out who they will face in the quarter-finals when the draw is made on Thursday night.
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