Tottenham centre-back chase: Conte turns to £80m star perfectly suited to fixing two positions in back three

Antonio Conte Tottenham v Frankfurt Credit: Alamy
Antonio Conte Tottenham v Frankfurt Credit: Alamy

Tottenham are being tipped to turn to a much-maligned Manchester United as Antonio Conte looks to bolster his three-man defence in the January window.

With moves for the likes of Josko Gvardiol, Alessandro Bastoni and Milan Skriniar all looking highly unlikely, Spurs are ready to look closer to home to get another defensive signing on board.

Football.london claims that United and England star Harry Maguire could be bound for north London this month.

The £80million man is struggling for game time at Old Trafford and has even seen Luke Shaw picked ahead of him central defence in recent outings.

Red Devils boss also prefers Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof ahead of Maguire. That, in turn, leaves the 29-year-old feeding off scraps for game time for the rest of the campaign.

And that is where Tottenham come in, as Conte looks to bolster a defence that has looked shaky since the re-start.

Maguire became the most expensive English player of all time when he joined United for £80m from Leicester in 2019.

Continuous criticism has followed for the last three-and-a-half years. That’s despite Maguire excelling on the international stage with England in that time.

Indeed, the defender was excellent as the Three Lions eventually crashed out of the World Cup at the quarter-final stage.

Maguire comfortable in Conte defensive system

During that tournament, and at United, he has largely played in a back four. However. Maguire has shown in the past that he is equally comfortable either playing in the centre or on the left of a back three.

They are both positions Conte is looking to upgrade. Indeed, Eric Dier is struggling centrally and both Ben Davies and Clement Lenglet have failed to convince on the left.

Football.london states that Maguire ‘impressed at the World Cup, to demonstrate that there are quality performances still to come’.

Spurs are not alone in their chase for the player though. Indeed, the likes of Aston Villa, Newcastle, Leicester and West Ham are also being tipped to sign the player – either on loan or permanently.

The Manchester Evening News, however, reports that Tem Hag wants to keep Maguire until the end of the season. The Dutchman wants the former Foxes man around in case of injuries, but that is hardly likely to appease Maguire.

The centre-back is currently valued at £26.m by Transfermarkt, which is ome drop from the £80m United spent initially.

Maguire has shown, however, that he can still perform to a very high level. To that end, it may just be that a move is all he needs to resurrect his club career.

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