Tottenham have ‘agreement in principle’ to sign Emerson replacement but one major hurdle still exists

Emmanuel Boateng and Pedro Porro Credit: Alamy
Emmanuel Boateng and Pedro Porro Credit: Alamy

Tottenham reportedly have an ‘agreement in principle’ to sign a player in January who is considered to be a major upgrade to their current right wing-back options.

Antonio Conte has been searching for an upgrade to one of the most important roles in his team since it clearly emerged that a combination of Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty is not strong enough for a side challenging for a top-four spot.

Brazilian Emerson started the season as first choice but several below-par performances eventually saw him usurped by a fit-again Doherty. And the Republic of Ireland international has kept his place following the resumption after the Qatar World Cup.

However, Doherty has shown in the past that he struggles defensively against the better teams in the Premier League. And there’s no need to even mention the name Djed Spence, as Conte clearly does not rate the England Under-21 international.

With all that in mind, Spurs remain very keen on trying to land Sporting Lisbon’s Pedro Porro. And the latest update from Italian journalist Rudy Galetti has moved things on a notch.

He reports that the north London club have an ‘agreement in principle’ with Sporting. However, the Portuguese outfit are standing firm over any buying club paying his release clause of £40million.

The 23-year-old has been in superb form this season. Porro has scored twice and added 10 assists in 22 games in all competitions.

He also impressed twice against Conte’s men in the Champions League group stage, which initially piqued their interest.

Porro joined Sporting on loan from Manchester City in 2020, but made the move permanent last summer after Ruben Amorim’s side won the Liga NOS in 2021/2022.

Over to Levy as Tottenham ponder Porro price

There are no details on length of contract or if Sporting are willing to drop their fee a fraction. To that end, it appears the ball is very much in Tottenham’s court and depends on whether Daniel Levy is prepared to pay £40m on a wing-back who has also been linked with Chelsea.

Selling Emerson would potentially help matters though, with the Brazilian tipped to replace Denzel Dumfries at Inter.

The Italian side are willing to cash in on former Spurs target Dumfries, as Manchester United close in on a deal. But that would leave them needing a replacement and Emerson could end up leaving for around £21m.

If both transfers did happen this month, that would mean a net spend of £19m for Tottenham. And landing a player of Porro’s quality for that price would be one of the bargains of the winter window.

Spurs are back in action on Sunday when they host table-topping Arsenal in the north London derby.

READ MORE: Tottenham decide against taking up contract option for top star as replacement already being lined up

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