Spurs transfer news: 'Very surprising' claim emerges involving 41-cap Conte favourite

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte

Transfer insider Pete O’Rourke would be very surprised if Manchester United sold Eric Bailly to Tottenham next month.

The 27-year-old defender is currently behind captain Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane in the pecking order at Manchester United and has recently been linked with a move to Tottenham.

What has been said about Bailly?

Journalist Duncan Castles reported in November that Antonio Conte wants to sign two new starting centre-backs, with Bailly being one option for the Italian.

The 41-cap Ivory Coast international joined Manchester United from Villarreal for £30m back in 2016 but has seen his time at Old Trafford plagued by injury.

He now finds himself providing cover for the Red Devils’ first-choice central defensive partnership of Maguire and Varane, with the duo starting in the exciting 1-1 draw with Newcastle United on Monday.

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Therefore, it would be understandable if Bailly wanted a fresh start elsewhere like at Tottenham. According to Castles, he is a player Conte likes.

What has O’Rourke said about Bailly?

O’Rourke, however, has told GIVEMESPORT that he would be surprised if Manchester United allowed Bailly to leave Old Trafford in the January transfer window. 

For the football journalist, a Phil Jones exit is way more likely when it comes to centre-backs Ralf Rangnick could let go.

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Speaking to GMS, O’Rourke said: “I’ll be very surprised. I don’t think United would let Eric Bailly go right now. Phil Jones seems to be the one more likely to move on in the January transfer window.” 

Should Tottenham make Bailly a priority?

You can see why Conte would want to strengthen Tottenham at the back. 

The likes of Davinson Sanchez and Ben Davies have been performing in defence, picking up WhoScored match ratings of 8.2 and 7.7 respectively against Norwich City at the start of December. However, with the former Inter Milan boss utilising a back three, he may feel he needs more options.

Whether Bailly would be a good one is questionable. As already mentioned, he has had a lot of injury problems at Manchester United, while he is also prone to the odd error.

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David Ginola - Tottenham Hotspur

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Discussing his performance in a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City earlier this season, former City winger Trevor Sinclair told talkSPORT: “He’s a rash defender and he seems like he’s always got a mistake in him.”

Ultimately, if Spurs want to be regulars in the top-four again and challenge for the title, they need to be aiming for players a level above Bailly. He is simply not someone who should be at the top of their list.

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