Tottenham will have to pay £44m to sign Diego Llorente as Toby Alderweireld’s replacement, according to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Sport Witness). The Londoners are reportedly fighting with Fulham for the signature of the Spaniard and will send scouts to watch Llorente in action for Real Sociedad against Celta Vigo on Monday.
Mauricio Pochettino is casting his eye on centre-backs as he could be losing Alderweireld next summer. The Belgian international is out of contract at the end of the season and isn’t close to putting pen to paper on an extension. Tottenham are clearly bracing his eventual departure by eyeing up Llorente, but the 25-year-old’s release clause might be a stumbling block.
Real Sociedad have no intention of selling the defender and won’t accept a bid below his £44m buyout fee. The Liga side were 13th in the division ahead of the weekend games, boasting a better defensive record than both Real Madrid and Barcelona. Llorente has played a small part in that, making four league appearances, but he’s spent the majority of the campaign sidelined with injury.
The two-cap star suffered an ankle injury in August and didn’t return until November. It’s hard to see Tottenham spending so much money on a rusty player who has barely proven himself this season. Llorente has played only two league games since the three-month injury layout.