Tottenham are looking to bolster their defensive ranks and have entered the chase for Calgliari defender Davide Astori, reports the Daily Star.
The Italian has become Spurs’ number one defensive target, but the club faces stiff competition with the likes Juventus, AC Milan, Roma and Lazio also interested.
With the future of Jan Vertonghen up in the air, Astori could fit the bill for the north London outfit. He has earned a number of plaudits during his time with relegation strugglers Calgliari and his impressive performances have seen his stock rise considerably.
The 27-year-old has been linked with a transfer for almost two years now, but has always remained in Sardinia. However, with his contract set to expire at the end of next season, he is yet to accept a new deal with Calgliari. Could he leave for a cut price move this summer?
He started his footballing career as a youth player at AC Milan, but failed to make a first team appearance for the Rossoneri. He was sold to his current club 2008, for just €1.2m.
Following a difficult spell in Milan, Astori has now established himself as one of Serie A’s best enforcers, thanks to regular first team football at Calgliari.
Over the past six years, he has shown his excellence in defence, finding himself to be the predominant factor in maintaining the club’s Serie A status season after season. Without such a burden on his shoulders, it would be fascinating to see Astori flourish at a better side.
He is capable in the tackle, a decent header of the ball and he has a decent level of pace. He is a tall centre-back, yet he is adept with the ball at his feet. He can facilitate a passing game from the back - although he has been forced to adapt slightly during his time with Calgliari.
His organisational skills are another factor to be admired. He is a domineering figure in defence and this is exactly the kind of player Tottenham are currently lacking.
The 27-year-old has also been recognised fully at international level, having been capped seven times by the Azzurri. He is an incredibly underrated defender and it’s a real surprise he hasn’t been snapped up any sooner.
Tottenham signed Jan Vertonghen in similar circumstances two seasons ago. The Belgian remained relatively unknown, despite his achievements with Dutch outfit Ajax, but Spurs were prepared to take a risk. A risk that ultimately paid off.
Astori would be the ideal man to replace Jan Vertonghen, should he leave this summer, but the club will need to act quickly if they wish to avoid a sudden bidding war. He is currently valued at around £8m – a price Daniel Levy would undoubtedly be willing to pay.