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Matthijs de Ligt represents a gamble with potentially huge rewards for Tottenham

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Photo: Getty Images.

Mauricio Pochettino and his Tottenham set-up will have been casting their eye far and wide across Europe throughout this season as they look for a replacement for defender Toby Alderweireld. Now, the latest reports suggest that they have found their man: Matthijs de Ligt.

The 18-year-old Ajax man has become a stalwart at the heart of the Eredivisie side’s defence and for the Dutch national team, with The Sun on Sunday saying that Tottenham are considering a summer bid worth £45 million whilst Barcelona are also interested.

Given his style, calm in possession and always looking to play out from the back, De Ligt would be an ideal option for the Lilywhites.

He has been likened in the Netherlands to the man that he may replace, Alderweireld, particularly given his strength both in the air and in the tackle.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

There is little doubt that De Ligt has huge potential and would be a superb signing, but at £45 million will not come cheaply and it will be a far higher asking price than is typically paid by Daniel Levy and his club.

Add into that the fact that 2017/18 has been his first season as a regular in first team football and it could be a substantial gamble for Pochettino to rely so heavily on the youngster to fill far more experienced shoes.

Any lack of concentration or focus, as has rarely been evident in his game, would be pounced upon in defence. Similarly, Davinson Sanchez has performed well in such a set-up having made the same move last summer, but having both in the same back three would be a risky move from the Spurs coach.

Pochettino clearly favours such a style, after all the current strongest back three all rose to fame with Ajax and De Ligt would maintain that, but given that such a fee would make him the club’s major defensive signing, he cannot afford to wait around for him to develop.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Salomon Rondon would be ideal back-up for Harry Kane and Tottenham

Josh Kerr

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Salomon Rondon
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According to reports from the Daily Mirror, Tottenham Hotspur are interested in adding West Bromwich Albion‘s Salomon Rondon to their attacking ranks.

The recently relegated striker will be hoping to stay in the Premier League and Mauricio Pochettino can ensure that happens for the Venezuela international.

Harry Kane has been a revelation once again for the Lilywhites firing 30 league goals this season and was also nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award.

However, Pochettino has still not found a suitable back-up for the Englishman and is already looking for another replacement.

Fernando Llorente was signed from Swansea last season after Vincent Janssen failed to make an impact in north London.

However, the 33-year-old striker could not improve on his 15 goal tally for the Swans that kept them in the top flight a year ago.

The Spanish forward has one goal in 16 Premier League appearances for Spurs and it’s understandable that Pochettino already wants a replacement.

Rondon would not be a signing that should get fans excited by any means.

After all, he does not represent a world-class striker in the slightest and, similarly to Llorente, he has spent the majority of his Premier League career scrapping at the bottom end of the table.

Despite finishing rock bottom in the league this campaign, Rondon was one of those who emerged from the season with some credibility, scoring 10 goals in all competitions for the Baggies.

The Baggies forward is a striker who has often looked isolated and lacking options in a West Brom side that has struggled to get the best out of him.

In a flourishing Spurs team, his Premier League goal tally, of 24, could steadily improve.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Rondon has a relegation release clause in his contract that can see him leave the Midlands side for a reported fee of £16.5 million.

This may be off-putting for Spurs fans as the fee is not cheap considering the Venezuelan’s lack of firepower.

However, at 28, he is five years younger than Llorente and would only cost £2 million more than the fee they paid for the Spaniard, so it’s not the worst transfer when wanting more attacking options.

There’s no doubt that Llorente has struggled at Wembley this season and at 33, Levy may be tempted to move the former Juventus striker on and refresh his forward line.

A club of Spurs’ stature will always be linked with bigger names, but Rondon could still be a smart appointment for the Londoners.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham fans react to latest Mousa Dembele contract setback

Josh Kerr

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Mousa Dembele
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According to the Evening Standard, Mousa Dembele’s agent claims the Belgian international will not sign a new contract with Tottenham Hotspur before the summer World Cup.

The 30-year-old is set to enter the final year of his Spurs contract, which expires on June 30 next year, and the club’s supporters are understandably growing impatient.

According to earlier reports by the MirrorMauricio Pochettino is ready to listen to offers for the likes of Mousa Dembele, Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko.

Dembele was one of the names shortlisted and has been a revelation in his six seasons at the club.

However, despite another successful season in north London, the former Fulham midfielder is likely to put an end to his love affair with the Lilywhites.

Dembele’s current deal expires in 12 months and, after starting just 21 of 38 League games, he may be considering other options for the final years of his career.

Spurs fans reacted to his agent’s comments, with the majority urging Pochettino to offload the powerhouse midfielder this summer and find a suitable replacement for the Belgium superstar.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur news round-up: Pochettino signs, De Ligt hope and Wanyama commits

All the big news from Tottenham Hotspur today.

Mathew Coull

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Poch signs on

It has been a busy day at Tottenham Hotspur, starting off with the excellent news about Mauricio Pochettino.

The Argentine, who has been linked with a number of top jobs in world football, has committed his future to the North London club.

He has signed a deal to remain Spurs boss until 2023, along with his coaching staff.

It is a deal that will undoubtedly please the Tottenham fans, and has the chairman. Daniel Levy said of the deal on the club’s official website:

“Mauricio has fostered an incredible spirit in the team and has embraced a style of play our fans have loved watching. I know they will welcome this commitment by Mauricio.”

For many Tottenham fans this is the most important signing of the summer. Losing Pochettino would have been a nightmare scenario for the club and getting him tied down so early in the summer is a massive boost for everyone at the club.

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

De Ligt-ful transfer on the cards

Spurs are also in talks over bringing Dutch international defender Matthijs De Ligt to North London. The 18-year-old talent is being lined up as a potential replacement for Toby Alderweireld, who is being targeted by Manchester United.

The London Evening Standard report that Spurs are hopeful their good relationship with Ajax can help them secure a deal. In the past Spurs have signed Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez from the Amsterdam club and believe that may weigh in their favour.

The teenager would be a magnificent recruit for Spurs, so this is one story to keep an eye on.

Spurs are also said to be keeping tabs on Egyptian defender Ahmed Hegazi of West Brom. ESPN claim Spurs are tracking the player, valued at around £2.5 million.

Wanyama staying

Whilst Alderweireld looks like he is going, one player who isn’t is Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama.

It has been suggested he could be moved on to make funds this summer with replacements being lined up.

But Spurs’ battle-hardened midfielder is not keen on an exit. Speaking to Goal he made it clear he has no desire of leaving Tottenham this summer.

Spurs fans will hope that is the case, despite his indifferent form and fitness this term. Wanyama is still a valuable member of the Tottenham team and they will hopefully manage to keep him at the club.

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