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Tottenham ‘desperate’ to sign Josko Gvardiol

Josko Gvardiol

Tottenham are 13th in the Premier League for their defensive record (36 goals conceded in 26 games) this season and 14th for shots faced per game (13.5), so Antonio Conte desperately needs to bolster their backline for next season.

The Lilywhites have shipped nine goals in their last four Premier League away games, keeping just two clean sheets on the road since October, so it’s little wonder they’re after Josko Gvardiol.

Graeme Bailey of TEAMtalk says Tottenham are one of many clubs ‘desperate’ to sign the 21-year-old who was outstanding for Croatia at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Conte has Cristian Romero, Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez, Clément Lenglet and Japhet Tanganga at his disposal this season, but Romero has started 61% of Spurs’ league games due to an adductor problem and hamstring injury, Lenglet has started only 53% of the league games due to being dropped, Sanchez has started six league games due to being dropped, and Tanganga has started two league games due to falling down the pecking order.

Gvardiol has made 29 appearances in all competitions for RB Leipzig this season, scoring two goals while helping to keep 10 clean sheets, so he’d greatly improve the Spurs backline. For Croatia at the World Cup, the 21-year-old conceded one or less goals from his first five outings in Qatar and shipped just one goal in the third-place playoff.

Bailey says Gvardiol has interest from Liverpool and Manchester City, so Tottenham have a battle on their hands to bring him to North London. Corriere dello Sport via Sports Mole said months ago that the Croat’s asking price is between £60m and £68.5m, so he won’t come cheap.

But with Conte having five central defenders in the first-team, he might need to sell at least one existing player to make room for a new arrival. Gvardiol would be Spurs’ most expensive acquisition, so time will tell if they really match his release clause.

The Lilywhites certainly need a stellar defender that is still young enough to continue developing, but they haven’t spent more than £55m on one player in any transfer window so Gvardiol might be out of their reach.

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