Could Tottenham Hotspur be planning on replacing one centre-back with another?
At first glance the report seems somewhat strange given the sheer number of defenders currently at White Hart Lane, but actually a move for Manolas could see one of those players move on – namely Federico Fazio.
The 28-year-old Argentine has barely featured for Tottenham so far this season, playing just one match – against Arsenal in the League Cup – and only making the bench on three other occasions.
That means Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has not deemed Fazio worthy of a place in the match-day squad 10 times already, and with Kevin Wimmer arriving at Spurs in the summer the older defender’s days in North London seem to be numbered.
Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are currently the undisputed first-choice centre-back pairing, but Wimmer has shown glimpses of being a more than able deputy and if Manolas also arrived – and with Eric Dier also on Tottenham’s books – that would be more than enough cover to allow Fazio to leave.
Factor in teenager Cameron Carter-Vickers and Tottenham’s defensive options could be the strongest they have been in years. But Manolas would not want to be a substitute and were he to arrive in due course he would be fighting hard for a place alongside either Vertonghen or Alderweireld week in, week out; a competition for places that can only be good for the club.