Spurs eye Old Lady’s Ogbonna in summer swoop after defensive clear-out
Tottenham are set to wield the axe on their current squad this summer, with several defensive players preparing to depart in the next transfer window, as the London club line up a move for Juventus centre back Angelo Ogbonna.
Spurs are involved in a ruthless battle to secure a place in next season’s Champions League but, after enduring a faltering run of domestic form, they have dropped down to sixth position in the Premier League table.
The White Hart Lane outfit are now 16/1 with Coral to obtain a spot in Europe’s elite competition next term, following fatal top-flight defeats to Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Manchester United this calendar year.
Mauricio Pochettino will be keen to offload many of his under-performing defensive players this coming summer. Tottenham’s Argentine and former Southampton head coach is aiming to make room for possible astute arrivals, after reportedly outlining Italy international Ogbonna as a potential target.
The towering Turin defender has struggled to cement a regular place in the Serie A champions’ starting line-up, with fellow centre backs and international teammates Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli all currently ahead of Ogbonna in the club’s pecking order.
Juventus’ 26-year-old enforcer has made 26 appearances this current campaign, although he has been limited to just a single full 90-minute Italian league outing this year. The former Torino tough-tackler has disappointingly been primarily deployed in the Coppa Italia this term, seeing a lack of action in Serie A and the Champions League.
With Spurs seemingly more likely to offer Ogbonna a first-team place, and the dominant defender aiming to regain regular international action ahead of next summer’s Euro 2016 competition in France, a move could potentially be on the cards.
Current Spurs skipper Younes Kaboul is seemingly likely to depart London at the end of the season, after featuring just twice for his current employers so far in 2015, including a 2-1 FA Cup defeat to the top-flight’s rock-bottom side Leicester City in January.
The faltering Frenchman looks set to leave due to a serious decline in form, while Belgium international Jan Vertonghen could join his fellow defender in departing because of a possible European absence, with Tottenham haplessly close to missing out on the top four places yet again.
Vertonghen is a classy centre back that could potentially slot into any of the Premier League’s big teams or abroad but, without a worthy defensive partner in the Spurs ranks, the 27-year-old may look elsewhere for a club competing in European competition.
Spurs have also been linked with Brilliant Basque target man Fernando Llorente, a Turin teammate of Ogbonna’s, as Pochettino aims to make a squad overhaul in the summer transfer window.
The Londoners hold the worst defensive record of the current top 12 teams in the Premier League table, leaking in 45 goals so far this term, a problem which Pochettino must address in order to finally become a constant Champions League outfit.
Spurs are odds-on 8/11 to finish in the top six this season, as they battle it out with Pochettino’s former club Saints for that final Europa League position.