When Tottenham were scouring the transfer market for Jan Vertonghen’s replacement, Milan Skriniar and Antonio Rudiger were our top picks over Kurt Zouma, Jerome Boateng, Issa Diop, Ben White, Kim Min-jae, Lewis Dunk, Diego Carlos, Ozan Kabak, Ben Godfrey, Kristoffer Ajer, Robin Koch, Guillermo Maripán and Ruben Dias.
We ended up signing Joe Rodon from Swansea City, however, but Alasdair Gold of Football.London believes we will return for Skriniar when the winter transfer window opens. He said: “I think they will have a look at Skriniar in January and see what the situation is there.” Whether we’ll actually land his signature remains to be seen, however.
What went wrong over the summer?
Tottenham held talks with Inter Milan when the summer transfer window was open but couldn’t agree terms over a deal.
As per the Guardian, the Nerazzurri wanted €60m (£53.6m) or €55m (£49.1m) with add-ons for Skriniar which we unwilling to match. We would only stump up €30m-€35m (£26.8m-£31.3m), so Inter weren’t going to accept our offer.
Skriniar didn’t seem to want out of the San Siro either despite concerns over playing time under Antonio Conte. He told Slovakian news outlet Sport.aktuality.sk in September: “Nobody at Inter has told me to leave and I have no reason to – Antonio Conte wants me.”
The fact we ended up paying £11m for Rodon, it’s clear money was the underlying issue. Jose Mourinho has Toby Alderweireld, Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga at his disposal, so we may not add to our ranks.
Do we stand a chance of signing him in January?
Alasdair Gold believes we’ll enquire, but we didn’t match Inter’s asking price and Skriniar didn’t want to leave over the summer, so what has changed? Rodon and Tanganga are inexperienced while Dier isn’t a top level centre-back, so I understand why we’re being linked with defenders. But with five centre-backs in the first-team, it’s not the most pressing area to spend money.
Inter have Skriniar tied down for another three years, so they’re under no obligation to cash in. The 25-year-old isn’t holding down a starting place of late, but I think we’re the only ones stopping ourselves from making progress. We’re not going to get him for cheap.