Apr 13, 2017
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Tottenham round-up: Barcelona target Kyle Walker; club to monitor Stevenage’s Ryan Johnson; latest on European transfer targets

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Given the quick progress Tottenham Hotspur have made in the short reign of Mauricio Pochettino, it was virtually guaranteed that the Argentine’s squad of relatively young stars would begin to draw interest from some of the bigger clubs in the Premier League and across Europe, particularly so given that as of yet, a lack of silverware at White Hart Lane represents a lack of anything tangible in the meantime to show for all of their obvious progress.

Sensational speculation has recently emerged from the London Evening Standard, however, which claims that La Liga giants Barcelona could be preparing to table an audacious summer transfer bid for Tottenham’s flying full-back, Kyle Walker.

The Blaugrana have struggled defensively since allowing Dani Alves to depart for Juventus, and have failed to fill the void at right-back effectively, the only recognised senior right-sided defender on the club’s books being Aleix Vidal, who signed in 2015 from La Liga rivals Sevilla. The situation has been somewhat intensified by the fact that Vidal suffered an ankle injury at Alaves, which is set to keep him on the sidelines for some time.

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With centre-midfielder by-trade Sergi Roberto currently occupying the role, the club are desperate to recruit a more reliable option in the position, who might also provide some of the attacking qualities missed since Alves’ departure, and thus the reckoning at the Standard is that the Catalan club have identified England international Walker as an ideal fit.

He’d be a costly acquisition if Barcelona were to prise him away from White Hart Lane, though, after Walker put pen to paper on a new £70,000 a week contract at Tottenham in 2016. Former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City also had a bid of £60million to sign both Walker and opposite full-back Danny Rose rejected during the summer transfer window, with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy thought to value both defenders individually at that figure as a minimum.

It isn’t only outgoings in recent speculation which concerns Spurs, however, and the North London side are thought to be one of three clubs keen on signing Inter Milan’s Colombia international defender, Jeison Murillo.

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The 24-year-old centre-half has been a hit at the San Siro since a move from La Liga strugglers Granada two years ago, but Transfermarketweb believe the player, under contract with Inter until June 2020, favours a move elsewhere in order to advance his career. Tottenham are just one of three English clubs to be linked with a move for him, alongside Premier League rivals Leicester and Manchester City. The buy-out clause in the defender’s contract is believed to be in the region of £15million.

Spurs have been dealt a blow elsewhere in the market ahead of the window, however, in that Atlético Madrid have moved into pole position to secure the signature of one of their summer transfer targets, £25million rated Anderlecht teenager Youri Tielemans, according to talkSPORT.

The 19-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season in senior football at the Constant Vanden Stock this term, having netted 18 goals from midfield and assisted 11 in 43 appearances. Ligue 1 side Monaco are also thought to be another interested party in acquiring the youngster’s services, as well as Premier League club Everton.

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Belgian Pro League leaders Anderlecht were originally thought to have been willing to part with the sought-after midfielder for between £15million and £20million, but the club’s asking price is now set to rise to £25million, the report claims.

Elsewhere, news has also emerged from the London Evening Standard that the club will continue to keep tabs on Stevenage’s 20-year-old defender Ryan Johnson, after the youngster impressed when given the opportunity to train with the Tottenham’s development squad for a seven-day period.

Johnson trained with the North London club’s U-23 side at their Hotspur Way training ground in Enfield last week and featured in their 4-1 defeat away at Everton U-23s on Monday. He has so far made seven senior appearances for League Two outfit Stevenage, but is thought to have a host of clubs keen to monitor him, including Championship outfit Norwich City, who were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2015/16 campaign, and would likely trial the defender in a similar manner to Spurs.

Featured Image: All Rights Reserved by Commander Idham.

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Tottenham Hotspur · Transfer Round-up

Scott is a Port Vale fan who writes regularly for The Boot Room as a freelancer. He is a fan of several sports but most of his experience in journalism comes from football and volleyball. He has produced several works on major Championships for both the FIVB and CEV in the volleyball world out in Switzerland, and is currently studying for a BA Hons in Modern Languages at the University of Oxford.

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