Tottenham: £70m Brazil ace 'out of reach' for Conte

Tottenham Hotspur should be targeting players like Leeds United winger Raphinha if they want to ‘close the gap’ on the top teams in Europe, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

New Spurs manager Antonio Conte is expected to ring the changes over the summer in an attempt to put his stamp on the squad he inherited from Nuno Espirito Santo in November.

What is the latest news involving Raphinha?

According to Spanish outlet Sport, Raphinha is now the first-choice target for Barcelona as they continue to search for wantaway attacker Ousmane Dembele’s long-term heir.

It’s also stated that Premier League heavyweights Liverpool and Chelsea have been monitoring the seven-cap Brazil international’s situation closely ahead of potential moves.

The same publication then claimed that Barca have already table an opening offer of €35 million (£29m) for Raphinha, who has asked his agent Deco to do ‘everything possible’ to force a switch to Camp Nou.

However, Raphinha’s contract, which doesn’t expire until the summer of 2024, is believed to contain a release clause of between €75m (£62.5m) and €84m (£70m), meaning the two clubs are likely to be some distance apart in their valuations.

The creative has caught the eye of a host of top teams across the continent after an excellent 18-month spell with Leeds, registering 15 goals and 12 assists in 59 appearances.

What has O’Rourke said about Raphinha?

Spurs are currently sitting three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who occupy the final Champions League qualification spot, in the Premier League table having played a game more.

And O’Rourke believes Raphinha is the ‘type of player’ who could help Conte’s charges compete with the elite sides again, although fears he may be ‘outside of Tottenham’s reach’.

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He told GiveMeSport: “I think he’s the type of player that Spurs need to be looking at if they are to close the gap on the top sides across Europe.

“So yeah, I think it’d be a good one, but I think he just might be out of Tottenham’s reach right now.”

Do Spurs need a new attacker?

Tottenham only signed Dejan Kulusevski from Juventus in January, and while the 21-year-old has made a fast start to life in north London, Conte may target some additional firepower when the market reopens.

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Nobody in the Spurs first-team squad bar Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min has scored over two league goals this season, leading to former manager Tim Sherwood urging the capital club to snap up Raphinha.

Whether Conte and director of football Fabio Paratici listen to Sherwood’s advice remains to be seen, but his arrival at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium would surely be seen as a sizeable coup.

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