Tottenham’s ‘number one’ transfer target revealed as £50m move tipped

Tottenham transfer news and rumours ahead of the summer window as Antonio Conte’s men continue to prove recruitment is needed

Tottenham's list of defensive transfer targets is now being headed up by Josko Gvardiol, according to reports.

It is well documented that Antonio Conte's side want to add to their centre-backs in the summer, after examining the options in the January transfer window.

In particular, Spurs wish to add another left-sided central defender to their ranks to give added competition to Ben Davies at the back. The futures of Joe Rodon, Davinson Sanchez and Japhet Tanganga are uncertain.

And the Daily Mail says that 20-year-old Croatian centre-back Gvardiol is now the club's no.1 defensive transfer target, with the left-sided centre-back having overtaken Lille's Sven Botman and Villarreal's Pau Torres, who the Lilywhites unsuccessfully pursued in the 2021 summer transfer window.

Gvardiol is rated as one of the best young defensive prospects in the world game, and the former Dinamo Zagreb defender with nine caps for Croatia has enjoyed a good breakthrough campaign since a switch to the Bundesliga last summer.

Two goals and two assists have come from the back in a standout season for Die Roten Bullen and with a contract until 2026, it is expected that bids would have to start at around £50m at least to try and tempt the Germans into a sale.

However even then, Tottenham may face an uphill battle as Domenico Tedesco's side currently sit in the final - fourth - Champions League position, and without elite European competition themselves, the North London side may have to look elsewhere.

However, at 6ft1', left-footed, aggressive and a natural combative defender, Gvardiol is precisely what Conte's side need to help shore up at the back. Before the win at Leeds United, Spurs had conceded an average of two goals per match in their five prior Premier League matches, seriously denting the club's quest for a Champions League place themselves.

Chairman Daniel Levy has overseen the club spend big on upcoming talents previously and Tottenham are understood to have set aside close to £50m for the signing of centre-back Cristian Romero, brought in initially on loan from Atalanta last season.

Could another such transfer help capture the younger Gvardiol, who has made 21 starts in the German top tier this season so far?

Conte was asked about the club's transfer strategy to sign young players at the pre-Everton press conference on Friday, which Gvardiol would fit under, but the Italian batted the question away.

"I think the most important thing is to be focused on the present. It’s more important the present, than the future. Now we have to sort the situation to avoid until the end of the season these ups and downs," he said.

"Because the players and I, we want to try to finish in the best position possible in the table, and then we’ll see, I repeat, we will see.

"Now, it’s too important to be focused on the present in the last 13 games. Because I repeat, we want to try to finish in the best possible position at the end of the season. And then, we can speak about many topics, about experience or no experience, but now it is very important to be focused on the present," he added.