Tottenham Hotspur are looking to revamp their defence this summer as Fabio Paratici will ring the changes through the transfer market, writes the football.london.
The former Juventus supremo was announced on Saturday as Spurs’ new managing director of football and although he officially starts work on July 1, he has already been plotting the club’s summer transfer plans as well as the search for the next head coach.
The latter looks set to be completed this week with the arrival of ex-Shakhtar Donetsk and Roma boss Paulo Fonseca, the man Paratici asked for after the club’s talks with Antonio Conte collapsed.
Paratici’s next order of business is to begin fixing the Tottenham defence that the 48-year-old Portuguese will take charge of.
Partly that surgery will take place off of the pitch with the new coaching set-up coming into the club.
Fonseca is known for his free-flowing attractive football but his critics in Serie A pointed to the amount of goals Roma conceded because of their open style, particularly in the big games.
With a couple of his long-serving coaches having already headed off on new challenges this summer, including his assistant manager of 15 years Nuno Campos, it is a natural point in his management career for Fonseca to change things up with his backroom staff.
Fonseca is working with Paratici and Spurs to assemble a new-look coaching staff prepared for the rigours of the Premier League, involving some of his own previous team as well as some new members who will work on defensive aspect of the sides.
Tottenham had their own defensive problems last season with Jose Mourinho frustrated by individual mistakes at the back and that the club ended with the sixth best defensive record in the division is testament to how much Mourinho had to pack the pitch in front of his defence at times in order to protect them with midfielders and restricted full-backs.
On the pitch, changes need to happen and football.london understands that Tottenham will prioritise the signing of a new centre-back this summer, preferably a leader for the backline.
Funds have already come in after Villarreal activated the option to sign Juan Foyth permanently for 15m euros (£12.8m) while there is also the prospect of another £5m arriving from the 50 per cent sell-on clause the club have on Marcus Edwards, who has been linked heavily with a £10m move from Vitoria to Sporting Lisbon.
Danny Rose and Paulo Gazzaniga are also coming off the wage bill this summer as their contracts come to a close this month.
Spurs had previously looked at both Lyon’s Joachim Andersen and Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic as young leaders and prospective signings, with Andersen in particularly gaining Premier League experience with Fulham last season.
Paratici, who is currently still in Italy, will bring his own additional targets through his contacts across the global game and chairman Daniel Levy has already stated that the Italian will plan the transfer strategy with technical performance director Steve Hitchen and the club’s recruitment analysts.
It it understood that if Tottenham accept a bid for another of their senior centre-backs this summer than they will move to sign a second central defender to replace them.
That is also the case at right-back, where should Serge Aurier get his wish to leave the club this summer if a suitable bid arrives then football.london understands that Spurs will quickly put plans in motion to sign a new full-back to replace him.
Reports of an imminent 20m euros move to PSG for the Ivorian, who has just 12 months left on his contract, are believed to be wide of the mark.
However, Tottenham are willing to let Aurier – who wants a return to Paris – to leave this summer and with a few in the squad reaching the final year of their contracts, the club have also told other players that they can move on and instructed their agents to help facilitate moves.
At left-back, the club are fully stocked and a decision will have to be made on Ryan Sessegnon’s next move if Sergio Reguilon and Ben Davies remain in north London as expected this summer.
The England U21 international enjoyed a successful loan season at Hoffenheim in the German Bundesliga and with a long contract until 2025, another loan move has not been ruled out if it looks like he will not get the game time he requires this season and that loan fee in itself could bring in extra funds for Tottenham.
Spurs’ involvement in the Europa Conference League may allow Fonseca to give plenty of minutes to the club’s younger players during this campaign but that will not satisfy those who want to be playing regular league football.
In goal, Hugo Lloris is entering the final 12 months of his contract. Spurs are reluctant to see their World Cup-winning captain depart this summer for a number of reasons.
The 34-year-old was one of the club’s better performers across the entirety of last season and to replace him with a goalkeeper of a similar or better standard would be costly in a summer when funds are tight and priorities lie elsewhere.
To sell Lloris would not bring much back in return despite his quality, due to his age and the lack of contract remaining but it is unclear whether the experienced stopper would want a new short-term deal at Tottenham having previously stated his wish to return to France before his career ends as well as being linked with a move to the USA and the MLS.
Tottenham have another decision to make when it comes to their goalkeeping options in the wake of Gazzaniga’s departure.
The Argentine had become Spurs’ number three behind Lloris and former England keeper Joe Hart. The club’s issues with having too many ‘non-locally trained’ players on their books meant Gazzaniga was left out of their Europa League squad and eventually loaned out to Elche in Spain.
Paratici and Fonseca must decide whether to promote Alfie Whiteman to third choice, with Brandon Austin returning from his loan at MLS side Orlando City in the winter, to help those homegrown numbers or look to sign a new goalkeeper.
There will be other departures and arrivals further up the pitch but the defence is the priority this summer.
Paratici will be overseeing the defensive revamp at his new club this summer, on and off the pitch, and Tottenham will need those coming in to gel quickly in order to balance out Fonseca’s attacking ambitions.