Conte severely tempted to hand Tottenham lifeline to costly Liverpool star in deal that will wound Klopp
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte is readying a shock move to snare a midfielder away from Liverpool this summer, according to a report.
The Italian coach is currently convalescing having undergone surgery to remove his gallbladder last week. And with first-team duties left to his No 2, Cristian Stellini, Spurs recorded a brilliant 1-0 win over Manchester City on Sunday.
Conte and Stellini will hope that win over Pep Guardiola’s side sets them up for a successful second half to the season. Indeed, Tottenham will hope to go deep in the Champions League and face AC Milan in the last 16 of the competition later this month.
In addition, they will also be looking to end their 15-year trophy wait in the FA Cup. However, Tottenham will also be looking to secure a return to the Champions League through a top-four finish. They are currently sat in fifth place, just a point adrift of Newcastle, though having played a game more.
Last season, a late season rally enabled Spurs to edge out Arsenal for a top-four spot. And a repeat this time around – albeit at Newcastle’s expense – would allow Tottenham additional funds in the summer to further strengthen their squad.
He has been able to spend around £200m during the last two transfer windows with 10 players arriving. However, Conte is not adverse to the odd transfer bargain either. To that end, the Italian snaffled both Ivan Perisic and Fraser Forster as free agents last summer.
Now a report claims Conte is looking towards the free agent market again – and this time he has a Liverpool midfielder in his sights.
Per 90min, Spurs are considering a move to bring in soon-to-be out-of-contract Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita.
Tottenham ready to move for Naby Keita
The Guinean midfielder arrived in a £52.75m deal from RB Leipzig in summer 2018. Taking the No 8 shirt at Anfield, big things were expected of Keita given his performances in the Bundesliga.
However, Keita has been riddled by a series of injuries during his time on Merseyside and has rarely shown the qualities that convinced Liverpool to sign him.
Indeed, he has been limited to just 127 appearances over his five years at the club, scoring just 11 times.
And with his deal expiring this summer, it seems a parting of ways is very much on the cards.
Liverpool had tried to tie Keita down to a new deal last year. However, with the midfielder refusing their initial offer, Liverpool have decided not to pursue offering him increased terms. And with the player failing to convince Klopp he is worthy of a regular shirt, his exit now looks inevitable.
To that end, Keita has recently been linked with a beat-the-deadline move to Turkey. And while that move has since been dismissed, Keita seemingly has plenty of options to pick from this summer.
According to Florian Plettenberg, there are several sides keen to land the 27-year-old. And it is reportedly a strong possibility that Keita will head back to the Bundesliga this summer.
However, 90min claim Tottenham are considering an approach to keep him in the Premier League.
They claim Conte is an admirer of the player and believes he can still become a big player in England. And while his time at Anfield has not gone to plan, a change of scene may bring out the best in him.
Competition strong for wantaway Liverpool man
Per the report, Tottenham will have to see off several sides to land the Guinean. As well as two or three clubs in Germany, Lyon, Monaco, Inter and AC Milan are also reportedly eyeing Keita.
And while Spurs are well stocked in midfield, the Italian always sees a room for improvement. Indeed, Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are very much his preferred combo in midfield. On the flipside, the jury remains out on summer signing Yves Bissouma.
Furthermore, they also have Pape Matar Sarr and Oliver Skipp in their ranks. However, chances are often few and far between for the pair.
To that end, Conte is reportedly weighing up a move the Keita. And his signing may potentially free up space for another man to leave N17.
Although his time at Anfield has not gone to plan, the chance to land Keita – still Liverpool’s fourth-most costly signing of all time – on a free is seemingly of great temptation to Conte.
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