Tottenham Hotspur have been chasing a new defender for some time now.
The club signed Joe Rodon from Swansea City in the summer transfer window but he smacked of a last-minute option.
Indeed, the club’s fans were excited after Steve Hitchen, the club’s chief scout, was spotted in Italy amid talk of a bid for Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar.
That did not come off but now it appears that the club believe Serie A could be a fertile breeding ground for defensive acquisitions.
Sport Witness carries a report from Fanatik journalist Yakup Cinar claiming that Merih Demiral is in demand.
Liverpool were credited with an interest in January and Cinar, speaking to Tutto Juve, claims that there have been a number of enquiries for the young centre-back.
Spurs are mentioned as possible suitors, as are Leicester City, although the journalist believes Real Madrid will make a move in the summer.
Asked about the interest in the 22-year-old, who played for Sassuolo before his move to Turin, Cinar said: “Even before wearing the Juventus jersey, Milan were ready to spend 35 million euros to bring him to Milan but Juventus declined the offer.
“In addition to this, during this season many top European clubs have sought him including Tottenham, Leicester, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Atletico, but Juventus have always refused to sell him.
“This summer Real Madrid will knock on Juventus’ door to try to bring him to the Iberian capital. This is not a guess but a very concrete fact.”
GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…
What a player.
Demiral can pretty much do everything and he’s still young and is only likely to improve from here.
Per fbref, he averages 1.86 tackles per game, 1.97 blocks, 9.62 pressures, and a pass completion rate of 93.2%.
Those are all high figures, with the first three stats placing him in the top 30% of centre-backs in Europe’s top five leagues. As for the pass completion rate, he is in the top four per cent.
He can carry the ball, win it back, place pressure on the opposition, and is a defender who consistently operates on the front foot.
He hasn’t actually had a proper run of games yet – he’s only made six starts this season – so while the sample size is admittedly small, it’s safe to assume that the numbers will only improve once he carves out a starting spot in the team or earns a move.
Spurs should do all they can to bring him in; elite defenders like this don’t come along all that often.