Although a deal has to be confirmed, it is believed that Tottenham Hotspur‘s Kyle Walker will complete a move to Manchester City in coming weeks. Sky Sports report that an official bid may be made in the next few days, now that the player has returned from international duty.
Having been at the club for eight years and as a regular starter the last six, it is no surprise that Mauricio Pochettino has already been lining up potential replacements. The Spurs’ manager generally ensures that he has two options for each position – something which led to Walker being left out of several key matches in favour of Kieran Trippier.
Trippier, fresh from his first start for England in the defeat to France, has gained the faith of his boss, proving himself to be a capable attacking fullback with impressive crossing abilities. However, with European football secured for a second consecutive season, another solid right back is required.
Top of Pochettino’s targets for this area is Porto’s Ricardo Pereira, believed to be valued at around £20 million according to the Telegraph. The 23-year-old has spent the last two seasons on loan at OGC Nice, forming part of the squad which mounted a decent title challenge against the big-spending AS Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain.
The Portuguese international directly contributed to six goals in 24 appearances as Nice finished third. His performances have attracted the attention of several of Europe’s biggest clubs, putting Spurs’ chances of signing him in doubt.
As well as interest from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund – reported by the Telegraph – PSG are said to be eyeing the versatile defender. The French giants would arguably be favourites to get their man, having recently appointed Porto’s ex-sporting director, Antero Henrique, and considering the significant financial resources of the club.
Tottenham’s strict wage structure should not hold them back initially, considering the lower value contracts in Portugal, but if they enter a head-to-head with one of the aforementioned clubs for Pereira’s signature, it is difficult to see them coming out on top.
Should Spurs be successful, they will gain a flexible full-back, capable of playing in defence, on the wing, and switching to the left flank. In that regard, he is an ideal Pochettino utility player. Securing him for just half of the expected Walker fee would be positive business, particularly as they only require a rotation option for Trippier.