Tottenham face battle to sign Chelsea star, with European giant’s ‘lead race’

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Tottenham will have to fend off one of Europe’s biggest clubs if they are to land a Chelsea star next year, according to reports.

The transfer strategy on the north side of London will change somewhat after the arrival of Antonio Conte. The series winner, 52, will likely want to bring in new players to match his 3-5-2 roster.

Conte has great knowledge of Serie A thanks to title-winning spells at Juventus and Inter Milan. Director Fabio Paratici joins him on that front, having spent 11 years at Juve before leaving in May.

It came as no surprise when US midfielder Weston McKennie, who has been in Turin since September last year, became a target for Tottenham. The 23-year-old would add a lot of quality to Conte’s midfield, while also competing with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp.

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Recent reports claim that a £ 29million worth deal could be reached from January.

Conte is not only looking at Juve for new signings but also his first club in England – Chelsea. The Italian spent two years at Stamford Bridge, winning the Premier League and an FA Cup.

Last week, reports revealed that the Tottenham boss was hoping to land Antonio Rudiger from the Blues.

They believe he will be ready to cross London once his contract expires in June. Chelsea are desperate to tie up the Germany international but have yet to strike a deal.

However, Spurs won’t have everything in their own way. Goal write that Spanish giants Real Madrid are “leading the way” to get Rudiger’s signature on a free ticket.

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Los Blancos want the 28-year-old to fill the gaping hole in their defense left by Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos.

Paratici may need to pull off an extreme charm offensive if Spurs are to beat Carlo Ancelotti’s side in the center-half.

Rudiger has made 17 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions this season, scoring two goals.


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Conte ‘likes’ Man Utd star, as talks have taken place

Meanwhile, reporter Duncan Castles of the Transfer window Podcast claim Spurs may seek to sign Eric Bailly.

The 27-year-old Man Utd defender is unlikely to become a first-team regular at Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s replacement is expected to stay with Varane and Harry Maguire.

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On Bailly’s future, Castles said, “One of the people they [Tottenham] are under discussion, although I understand that no offer has been made at this point, is Eric Bailly.

“He’s someone Conte loves and he envisioned as a possible Inter rookie.

“[Bailly] is obviously one of the players who has been the most battered by Solskjaer, extremely unhappy with the way he was treated by Solskjaer. He felt it was ridiculous that Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof were continually selected before him, almost regardless of what they did on the pitch.

“He expressed it after the Leicester City loss.”

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