Tottenham have seemingly been given a lift in their chase for Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar, although it does come with a bit of a caveat.
The 27-year-old has been a Spurs target for over a year and was consistently linked with a switch to north London last January and over the summer, before Fabio Paratici and Antonio Conte eventually had to settle for a loan deal for Clement Lenglet instead.
Despite looking defensively solid early in the campaign, the wheels have come off in that regard. Indeed, Conte’s men have conceded the first goal in each of their last 10 games. They have also let in at least two goals in their last seven Premier League outings.
Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga were both dropped for the weekend clash with Aston Villa. However, their replacements, Cristian Romero and Ben Davies did not fare too much better as Conte’s men were beaten.
With his defence now looking a complete shambles, the Italian, whose own future is in doubt, is known to want to bring in at least one new centre-back in the winter window.
Skriniar could help arrest defensive slide
And while Skriniar remains one of his top targets, the chances of landing him in January look slim to none.
Although that news will come as a significant blow. There’s an increasing likelihood that the Slovakia international will be available on a free instead this summer.
Latest reports suggest Milan have taken an all or nothing approach with the defender regarding his new deal.
Skriniar is only under contract until June 30 this year. To that end, he can open pre-contract negotiations with other clubs from later this month.
The Nerazzurri rejected offers worth up to £66million over the summer from PSG. That decision was made in the hope the player would pen a new contract.
Spurs target stalling on Inter contract offer
However, weeks after Inter made it clear their proposal worth €6.5m per season including bonuses would not be improved any further, there has still not been a response.
And , according to Sky Sport Italia transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio, Skriniar is still waiting for €8m per season. That figure is also significantly lower than the €10m put forward by PSG. Meanwhile, Tottenham can also offer more that the Italian outfit.
The report adds that even if Skriniar does not accept the new contract, Inter still have no intention of selling him in the January transfer window.
It’s a risky strategy for such a quality performer, hoping he stays rather than actually having his full commitment.
The problem for Tottenham though is that they are in desperate need of help now.
That, in turn, may force Conte and Paratici to look elsewhere – given that Tottenham’s current defensive problems are more likely to see them drop down the table at a rapid rate rather than compete for a top-four finish.
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