Tottenham Hotspur ‘join’ Barcelona and Leicester in race for World Cup star

Tottenham Hotspur take on Crystal Palace in the Premier League this evening

Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with a number of stars from the World Cup and have now most recently been rumoured to be interested in Morocco’s Azzedine Ounahi. Antonio Conte’s side are now said to be in the race to sign the Angers midfielder alongside Leicester City, Barcelona and Napoli, according to La Repubblica.

Ounahi joined the French club in 2021 and has made 14 league appearances this season, as well as making his international debut for Morocco during the Africa Cup of Nations last winter. Ten months later, the midfielder was named in their World Cup squad and went onto enjoy standout performances alongside the likes of Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi as Walid Regragui’s side reached the semi-finals in Qatar - beating Belgium, Spain and Portugal in the process.

Ounahi’s success on the international stage has led to a flurry of interest in his services and Tottenham are hopeful of snapping him up in the January transfer window as they look to improve their chances of claiming a top four spot. Spurs have struggled for form in recent months and currently sit five points behind fourth place Manchester United in the Premier League table, while Conte has made it clear he will need to improve the squad in order to make a top four challenge.

“To become a title contender, to become a team ready to fight to win something you need to have a solid foundation,” Antonio Conte said on his squad. “That means to have 14 or 15 strong players, quality and the other young players to develop. And [then] every season you can add two players but two players to invest £50m, £60m, £70m and in this way it means you are signing important players that improve quality and the level of your team but this is a process guys. It’s a process.”

The Italian already brought in Rodrigo Bentancur and Yves Bissouma to bolster his midfield in the summer, while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has also impressed for the North London club since his arrival from Southampton in 2020. Ounahi would certainly add some much needed competition to Spurs’ side, however it may not be the quality they need to challenge the likes of Man City and Arsenal.

Meanwhile, interest from the likes of Barcelona and Napoli could make securing the 22-year-old’s services even harder, though reports claiming that any potential suitor will have to fork out £39m may put the latter off. Leicester may also be able to guarantee the African regular first team football, though the chance to play in Europe could be too hard to turn down for Ounahi.