Key Premier League fixtures 2022/23
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Tottenham boss Antonio Conte will likely be forced to miss out on a move for Christian Eriksen this summer, with the Dane now set to join Manchester United on a free transfer. Eriksen had been heavily linked with a potential return to Spurs, who were said to have been weighing up the idea of bringing him back to north London over the last few months.
United have seemingly managed to jump the queue in the race for his signature, though, after Eriksen reached a verbal agreement to make the switch to Old Trafford before the new Premier League season gets underway. The Athletic have claimed that the 30-year-old has expressed a desire to sign for United on a proposed three-year deal, pending the final details of his contract and the completion of a medical.
Eriksen’s impending move to United will force Tottenham to look elsewhere in their efforts to land a new creative midfielder, which is said to be high on Conte’s list of summer priorities. A number of alternative targets have been linked with the club over the last few months, which suggests that the Italian boss will not be short of potential leads to pursue over the coming weeks and months.
James Maddison is among the names to have been mentioned in connection with Tottenham after impressing with his playmaking ability and dead-ball expertise at Leicester City. The 25-year-old has been closely watched by Spurs for some time and the Foxes would not be totally against the idea of a sale but would likely ask for a transfer fee in the region of £42million, according to football.london.
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However, if Conte truly believes that Maddison would be a quality addition to his ranks, it could be within the realms of possibility for those in power at Tottenham to chase a move for his services in the not-too-distant future. Another player who would come at a cost is Lucas Paqueta, with the Lyon maestro also said to be on Conte’s radar in advance of the upcoming campaign.
Paqueta chipped in with six assists and nine goals for Lyon over the course of last season, with his attacking contributions helping the French heavyweights to secure an eighth-placed finish in Ligue 1. His lack of Premier League experience suggests that he could take longer to settle in than a player like Maddison, although the capture of Dejan Kulsevski in January serves as proof that Conte is unlikely to be put off by Paqueta’s unfamiliarity with the English game.
The Spurs boss has also gained a reputation for chasing players from Serie A and could return to the Italian market to explore a move for Mikkel Damsgaard, who was one of the breakthrough stars for Denmark at last summer’s Euro 2020. The versatile 22-year-old is currently plying his trade with Sampdoria and has been tentatively linked with Spurs over the last 12 months, but it remains to be seen whether Conte will decide to green-light a move for his signature after missing out on Eriksen.
He could also decide to go down the route of a free transfer by snapping up Jesse Lingard, with the former United midfielder likely to have been considered by Tottenham as he weighs up his next destination. The north Londoners are yet to firm up their interest in bringing him to the capital, though, and will need to act quickly in order to be successful and beat a number of other clubs who are said to be weighing up their own individual moves for the 29-year-old.
Whatever happens in the market this summer, it will be crucial for Conte to get things right in his search for a new forward-thinking playmaker as Tottenham look to consolidate their position as a top-four side in the Premier League under his watchful eye. But with Eriksen now firmly out of the equation, the 52-year-old will be forced to settle for one of his other targets, of which there are many.
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