Tottenham Hotspur identified Clement Lenglet as the ‘most attainable’ defensive target despite encountering a wage ‘problem’ when looking to seal his move to Hotspur Way, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.
Spurs have been busy in the transfer market, with Antonio Conte aiming to rebuild the squad he inherited following his appointment as head coach last November, and Lenglet is nearing a move to north London.
What’s the latest news involving Lenglet?
According to The Athletic, Spurs are close to sealing a loan agreement which will see Lenglet swap Barcelona for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the 2022/23 season.
The report suggests the 15-cap France international was made available by his current employers after falling down the pecking order and as a result of the financial situation at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona are keen to get some peripheral figures off the wage bill and among them is Lenglet, whose £97,000-per-week contract does not expire until the summer of 2026.
While a loan will not necessarily see the Catalan giants cut ties with the 27-year-old, it is expected that Spurs will contribute towards his pay package and transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has revealed another round of talks are imminent with Lenglet keen on the move.
Lenglet’s arrival would come as a huge boost for Conte, who went into the transfer window having made the addition of a left-sided centre-back a top priority.
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What has Dean Jones said about Lenglet?
Jones believes Conte, along with managing director Fabio Paratici, pieced together a 10-man shortlist of centre-back targets and Lenglet was seen as the most likely to join.
However, the transfer insider feels a loan has proven to be the most suitable option due to his wage expectations.
Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “In terms of Lenglet, he’s the one guy on their list of 10 that was always likely to be the most attainable.
“The problem with Lenglet is that his wages were higher than they realised, so they have had to come to a way to figure out how they could do that.”
What will Lenglet add to Spurs’ backline?
While Lenglet does not boast Premier League experience, he has made 315 appearances over the course of his club career and played for two of La Liga’s biggest clubs – Barcelona and Sevilla.
Building a relationship with the man between the sticks is vital for incoming central defenders and he already knows Hugo Lloris well, having been in the same France team as the Spurs skipper on nine occasions.
That could be invaluable and statistics show Lenglet was in the 99th and 96th percentile, among centre-backs in Europe’s top five leagues and continental football, for passes attempted and successful pressures percentage last season.