Tottenham Hotspur are in formal talks with AS Roma regarding the future of centre-back Mehdi Benatia, with Mauricio Pochettino keen to strengthen his side's defence, reports Metro.
The north London club have already landed a new left-back in the shape of Ben Davies from Swansea City, and they are also close on securing Michel Vorm from the Welsh club as a backup goalkeeper to Hugo Lloris.
However, the new manager is now keen on finding a new centre-back after being less than impressed with what's currently on offer at White Hart Lane.
Spurs had a very leaky defence last season, conceding 51 goals in 38 games, and Pochettino is keen to land a dominate centre-half, and Benatia is top of his list.
Interest is high
Benatia, who had a superb season for Roma last campaign, has been monitored by both Manchester City and Chelsea, who are also keen on signing the Moroccan international, but as of yet, no formal talks or offers have been made for the 27-year-old.
However, Spurs are now ready to ramp up their interest and are ready to hold talks with Roma officials regarding his future.
Benatia was a crucial part of Roma's defence last season, who only conceded 34 goals in 38 games, and interest in him is high, with a move to England the most likely option.
According to reports in Italy, Tottenham's sporting director, Franco Baldini, is already on his way to Rome in order to hold talks with the Serie A outfit, and he is keen to wrap up a deal quickly to fend off interest from the two Premier League giants.
A fee hasn't been reported as of yet, but Baldini is confident he can wrap up a deal after building a strong relationship with Roma officials last Summer whilst securing the Erik Lamela transfer.
Benatia has only been at Roma for one-year, after completing his switch from Udinese last Summer for just over £10million, and despite signing a five-year contract, a transfer could be in the pipeline this window, but Roma will want a lot more than just £10m.