Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has delivered a fresh update on Tottenham Hotspur’s transfer pursuit of Milan Skriniar this week…
What’s the word?
In an exclusive interview with GiveMeSport, Romano revealed that Spurs could revisit their interest in the Inter Milan sensation when the window re-opens at the end of the season, he said:
“I would mention again Skriniar because they love this player. They’re scouting, they love this player, they’re convinced he would be perfect.
“Mourinho loves this player. It’s one of the players they are convinced would be perfect, It’s about the scouting, it’s about the board, it’s about Mourinho, they love the player.”
The north Londoners were close to sealing the 26-year-old in the summer, with chief scout Steve Hitchen spotted in Milan before deadline day, as per the Evening Standard.
Romano went onto claim that Spurs had only offered €35m (£30m), though the Serie A front-runners wanted at least €50m (£45m) to let their star man, whilst that valuation is expected to soar come to the end of the current campaign.
“He’s doing so well fans are in love with Skriniar so I think it’s not 50 million euros (anymore). This summer it will be around 80 or 75 million euros for Milan Skriniar, so really, really complicated, let’s see what Tottenham will decide about the centre-back,” he added.
Dream for Mourinho
As Romano mentions, this really would be a dream deal for Mourinho.
Back in January, the reliable Dan Kilpatrick at the Evening Standard suggested the Portuguese was desperate for a new centre-back that could make a similar impact to that of Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool or Ruben Dies at Man City.
Skriniar can be that ‘transformative’ defender he’s lusting for.
Lofty comparisons to former Premier League beast Martin Skrtel are merely just one reason why the Slovakia international would need no time in adapting to the Premier League.
“He has always been the leader on and off the pitch,” claimed Tibor Goljan, Skriniar’s U17 coach at MSK Zilina, to ESPN.
That is something Spurs have perhaps lacked since the departure of the vastly-experienced Jan Vertonghen. Indeed, Spurs’s last league outing – a 2-0 win over Aston Villa – saw young prospects Joe Rodon and Japhet Tanganga feature in the backline, alongside Davinson Sanchez, who has often been dubbed a “weak link.”
A lot of Mourinho’s issues have boiled down to his disappointing backline. These are players far from hitting their heights of that resolute Chelsea side. There’s no John Terry or Ricardo Carvalho here at Spurs.
Indeed, ex-Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara recently dubbed Eric Dier and Sanchez the worst central defensive partnership in the league, going as far as urging the club to sell them on in the summer.
Skriniar could be that difference-maker.
His performances for Inter have largely contributed towards them sitting six points clear at the top of the Serie A standings. Only one side, defending champions Juventus, have leaked fewer goals this term.
The £49.5m-rated star ranks amongst Antonio Conte’s best performers with an average WhoScored rating of 6.96. In addition, he is contributing 1.1 interceptions, 1.4 tackles, and 2.7 clearances per game, showing an excellent reading of the game and merely reinforces why the 6 foot 2 monster would be able to easily transition into English football.
By comparison, no Spurs centre-back is close to this level of form, with Sanchez topping the WhoScored rating charts (6.74).
Lilywhites chairman Daniel Levy must now do what he can do seal the signature of Skriniar in the summer, it would be a dream deal for not just Mourinho but Spurs too.