According to reports in The Telegraph over the last day, Tottenham are set to enter a bidding war this summer with their Premier League rivals to sign Burnley centre-back Michael Keane.
The 24-year-old defender has had an exceptional first season back in the top flight, and it is believed that Mauricio Pochettino will race Everton, Manchester United and Liverpool to sign him.
With Eric Dier’s future in doubt going into the transfer window, the report alleges that Keane – who was awarded his international debut this year for England – could slot in perfectly at White Hart Lane.
The speculated transfer fee for the Burnley man is said to be around the £30 million mark; with Sean Dyche not wanting him to leave, the Claret’s boss is bearing in mind the £47.5 milllion fee that Manchester City had to pay for another young, homegrown defender John Stones over last summer.
Away from speculation, Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld has issued a rallying cry for his side after they kept up their chase of leaders Chelsea with a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
Christian Eriksen’s dipping second-half volley was enough to secure the points and lead Spurs to their eighth consecutive victory; and now Alderweireld has urged his team to put the pressure on more.
Speaking to the London Evening Standard, he said:
“We want to put pressure on Chelsea. The only thing we can do is win our games. It is going to be difficult but that is all we can do.
“Of course, we want to catch them. This was a good response after the FA Cup semi-final. We are back in it. It is very important after a setback to respond immediately.”
The 28-year-old also issued a warning to Arsenal ahead of the North London Derby on Sunday, where victory over the Gunners would ensure that Spurs finish higher than their rivals for the first time ever.
“It is a massive game. We are going to try and win at the Lane. It is going to be a special day and it is up to us to get three points. Beating Arsenal to finish above them is extra motivation.”
If Spurs avoid defeat this weekend then they could remain on course to go the whole Premier League campaign unbeaten at White Hart Lane, winning 17 of their 18 home fixtures so far this year.
In less promising news, Mauricio Pochettino could be left sweating on the fitness of key midfielder Mousa Dembele ahead of Sunday’s derby, according to the Mirror, after he limped off at half-time at Selhurst Park.
The Belgian was visibly in discomfort after being on the wrong end of a strong challenge during the first-half, and struggled with pain in his ankle before remaining in the tunnel at the break.
The 29-year-old has been one of Tottenham’s most influential players this season, striking up a strong partnership alongside Victor Wanyama, and would be a huge miss for Pochettino on Sunday.
Danny Rose could be in contention for a return to the match-day squad for the visit of the Gunners, however, with the Spurs manager set to make a late decision on the fitness of the left-back.
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