Ricardo Carvalho Edges Closer To Tottenham Hotspur Switch

Portuguese nears Spurs switch.

The 34-year-old centre-back is one of Tottenham’s top targets this summer and has been identified as a future member of the Spurs coaching staff.

Carvalho worked with manager Andre Villas-Boas at both Porto and Chelsea and Tottenham believe he will retire next summer, making him available to become a defensive coach.

The transfer was first discussed last month but has now moved a step closer after Real boss Jose Mourinho told Carvalho not to report for pre-season training as he only wants to work with players who have a future at the club.

He cut a frustrated figure in 2011/12, making just 13 competitive appearances.

Spurs are hoping they will be able to take over the final year of his Madrid contract, with Mourinho happy to waive a fee in order to get the former Portugal international off the books.

Carvalho would join Jan Vertonghen as a new defender at Spurs, who will also welcome back Steven Caulker after his loan spell at Swansea.

Younes Kaboul is expected to be part of any first-choice centre-back pairing, with Michael Dawson, William Gallas and Sebastien Bassong also on the White Hart Lane books.

SOURCE: The Metro

So just where will Ricardo Carvalho fit in at White Hart Lane? We take a look at Spurs options at centre-back and examine if the veteran stopper is a worthwhile signing for the north Londoners.

Ledley King: When fit, one of the finest defenders in the Premier League: graceful, composed, calm, quick and strong as an ox. Unfortunately King’s chronic knee condition means he is unable to train or play more than one game in a week. The injury has taken its toll and in the second half of last season, he didn’t look the same player and it was sad to watch him struggle through matches. Expected to announce his retirement imminently and join the coaching staff.

Younes Kaboul: After being suffering from concentration lapses in his first spell at White Hart Lane, the Frenchman returned from Portsmouth a changed man and was Spurs most consistent player last season. The towering centre-half arguably didn’t get the credit he deserved for his powerful performances and he deserves to chance to form a steady partnership in the coming season. First choice.

Steven Caulker: Great Britain’s young Olympian made great strides on loan at Swansea City last year and is a big future prospect for both Spurs and England. At 22, he is still learning his trade but he has all the attributes to make a fine centre-half. Expect Andre Villas-Boas to give him a chance to prove himself, and he should be a nailed-on starter in the Europa League and League Cup.

Jan Vertonghen: The Belgian was Ajax’s player of the year last season and should have little problem adapting to the Premier League. Comfortable on the ball and great in the air, Vertonghen also scores an impressive amount of goals for a centre-half – nine in total last season. Often plays at left-back for his country but should slot straight into central defence, probably alongside Kaboul, for Spurs.

Michael Dawson: Mr Dependable spend much of last season out with injury and may find it tricky to force his way back into the Spurs first team after the emergence of Kaboul. A traditional English centre-half, Dawson is strong in the tackle and puts his body on line, but lacks pace and was cruelly exposed by Sergio Augero at the beginning of last season. Likely to predominantly be a bench-man next season.

William Gallas: The veteran increasingly succumbed to injuries last season and is unlikely to ever be able to command a regular place in the Spurs first team. The 34-year-old interests West Ham, meaning a move to his fourth London club could be on the cards.

Verdict: Carvalho will struggle for a starting spot, with Vertonghen, Caulker, Kaboul and Dawson likely to be the first and second pairs at centre-half. But with Ryan Nelsen released and Gallas set to follow, the Portuguese could provide a much-needed experienced head at the back, particularly if King succumbs to his injuries and retires.

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