The London Evening Standard report that Spurs are readying a move for Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia, and will be looking to get a deal over the line by the end of the month.
Jan Vertonghen picked up an ankle ligament injury in the 4-0 Premier League win against West Brom, and could be in for six weeks on the sidelines.
Mauricio Pochettino has been looking around his squad for replacement, and fielded Kevin Wimmer on the left of a back three in Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Manchester City. However, the Austrian was hauled off at the break in favour of a change in system as Pep Guardiola’s side dominated the first half, but failed to break the deadlock.
With the Argentine boss looking to implement the three at the back more often than not on matchday, it would seem sensible to bring in some centre-back cover, especially following Wimmer’s failure to perform on Saturday evening and Vertonghen’s injury.
Spurs have a busy schedule coming up in the remainder of January and February, with the Europa League set to make its return in the middle of February. Mauricio Pochettino will be looking to keep his squad as fresh as possible to keep his side’s run going in the FA Cup and Europa League, whilst mounting a decent Premier League title challenge too.
Inter Sporting Director values Andrea Ranocchia at approximately £5m, but would be open to offers in terms of a loan move until the summer, where there would be an option to buy. Pochetttino will not look to break the bank for centre-back cover, and a move for Ranocchia would seem like a good move.
The Italian defender has played just five times for Inter in Serie A this season, and his strength does seem to be in the air, winning 86% of his aerial duels over the course of this season.
Will the move happen?
In terms of centre-backs, Spurs have Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld, Kevin Wimmer and Cameron Carter-Vickers that can all play in a back three. Ben Davies can be added to that list, as we saw him play on the left of a back three for Wales at the European Championships.
The injury layoff of six weeks for Vertonghen is a fairly lengthy one, meaning he will not return until the start of March at the earliest. The fixtures will have already started to pile up by then, and at £5m, I think this is a risk for Mauricio Pochettino that is worth taking.