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Tottenham signing Clement Lenglet is ‘paralysed’ due to Antonio Conte uncertainty

Tottenham Hotspur antonio conte

Despite Tottenham Hotspur sitting fourth in the Premier League table, only seven clubs have conceded more goals this season (37 goals from 27 games), so it’s clear Antonio Conte has a problem in defence.

The Lilywhites have Cristiano Romero, Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez, Japhet Tanganga and Clément Lenglet to choose from at the back but have kept only two clean sheets away from home in the league since October,

Spurs want to sign Lenglet on a permanent deal from Barcelona, but Luis Miguelsanz of Sport says a €18m (£15.9m) deal has been ‘paralysed’ due to Conte’s uncertain future in North London.

Miguelsanz says the Tottenham manager might be on his way out after March’s Champions League elimination and the likelihood of another trophyless season. The journalist says Conte could depart if Spurs miss out on a top-four finish, meaning Lenglet could return to his parent club.

He writes: ‘Conte is receiving criticism after elimination in the Champions League. The Italian’s position is in danger. If he did not achieve (a top-four finish), it is likely Conte’s cycle will come to an end and Lenglet’s transfer will be very complicated.’

Lenglet joined on a season-long loan last summer and has gone on to make 26 appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal with two assists. The 27-year-old hasn’t always been a regular in his debut season, sitting on the bench for nine of Tottenham’s 27 league games, but he’s still a player the club want to sign.

Sanchez has fallen down the pecking order, featuring in 48% of their top-flight outings (13/27 games) and playing in 20% of the available minutes (570/2430), so he’s not a regular at centre-back. Tanganga has made just five appearances in all competitions this season, so his future in North London is also uncertain.

No defender with a minimum of seven league starts has given away fewer fouls per game than Lenglet (0.6) while only Dier has been dribbled past fewer times per game (0.2) than his French teammate (0.5). Only one defender with a minimum of seven league starts is more accurate with their passing than Lenglet (87.2%) too. , so he does bring value to the backline.

But if Conte isn’t sticking around, the 27-year-old might not stay at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Spurs are six points clear of fifth-placed Liverpool with 11 games remaining, so they look on course to seal Champions League football for another year.

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