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Spurs chase for Musacchio hots up

Mauricio Pochettino is set to step up his pursuit of Villarreal’s Mateo Musacchio, having already added left back Ben Davies to, and soon to get centre half Eric Dier for his rearguard this summer. Tottenham, who are 10/3 to secure a top four finish are seemingly looking to strengthen strategically in the transfer window, rather than the scatter-gun approach of last year.

They are already well-stocked in central defence, though skipper Michael Dawson has been consistently linked to Hull City since the end of last season; reports that don’t appear to be going away. Villarreal value Musacchio at £21m, however the north London club are keen to business for £16m.

The Argentine, who was linked with Barcelona before they signed Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia, has proven himself as one of the best tacklers in La Liga, and is very comfortable on the ball. Pairing him with Jan Vertonghen would make perfect sense, however the Belgian has been linked with a move to Barca.

Spurs fans can be excited about this latest target. Musacchio is similar in style to Dejan Lovren, who Pochettino brought to St Mary’s last summer, turning the Croatian into one of the best centre backs in the Premier League. An advantage for the 23-year-old, who has been capped by Argentina twice, is that in Pochettino, he will have a boss that speaks his language, and will help him to settle into London.

Following his move to Villarreal from River Plate in 2009, he has gone onto make 139 appearances for Yellow Submarine, subsequent to a brief spell in the reserve team.

One sticking point for Musacchio#s current club, which is affecting transfer negotiations, is that they will have to pay River Plate 35 per cent of any fee received. Naturally, they want to hold out for a price nearer the £20m mark.

Spurs are also understood to be tracking Pochettino’s former players at Southampton, midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and attacker Jay Rodriguez, with the latter unlikely to pass a medical anytime soon. The club are 50/1 to challenge for the Premier League title next term.