In his second exclusive column for CaughtOffside, Italian super-agent Roberto De Fanti lifts the lid on some of football’s biggest talking points, including what this summer’s transfer window could have in store for Spurs, Arsenal’s pursuit of a new striker much more…
Spurs and Fabio Paratici could complete hattrick of signings from Juventus
Following last weekend’s fascinating final day, one club that will be excited ahead of next season is Tottenham Hotspur.
Clinching Champions League football at the expense of their biggest rivals, Arsenal, is going to be a huge lift for the fans, as well as manager Antonio Conte.
Of course, playing in Europe’s biggest competition is also going to provide chairman Daniel Levy with some additional funds and I am sure he will look to invest it in the playing squad wisely.
One player who is tipped to join Conte at Tottenham Hotspur is Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie.
When I hear this, I have to say, my first thought is immediately Tottenham Hotspur. Obviously, the club have had great success with signing players from Juventus recently – Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski, especially, have been absolutely excellent. Since Kulusevski came to London his performances under Conte have been devastating. He was not a favourite for Massimiliano Allegri so there is some regret in Turin, but that is just the way football goes sometimes.
Both Bentancur and Kulusevski were not regular starters at Juventus so many people thought ‘how could they be a success at Tottenham Hotspur?’ – But the reality is, both players have been instrumental in the side qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
When it comes to McKennie though, I know, overall, Juventus are happy with him, but with them about to sign Paul Pogba, sometimes the financial books dictate what must be done.
McKennie is a very good player and one Fabio Paratici knows well so I won’t be surprised if he tries to make it a hattrick of Juventus players.
Gabriel Jesus ticks a lot of boxes for Serie A’s biggest clubs
The Italian clubs are very smart now – a lot of their transfer strategies are based around affordable players who could genuinely be looking to move.
The biggest Italian clubs are smelling the fact Gabriel Jesus is unlikely to be a starter for Pep Guardiola once Erling Haaland arrives and with his contract up in just 12-months, this striker ticks a lot of boxes.
I am sure the top clubs will make contact with him, like they did Edin Dzeko, and propose something based on the fact he is only going to become more redundant at Manchester City as time goes on.
We have seen this exact strategy applied recently between AC Milan and Divock Origi. He is a player who has always been decisive for Liverpool but never a regular starter. Origi’s minutes compared to important moments have been incredible and clubs, especially ones in Italy, know this and have inevitably taken advantage.
Arsenal want Tammy Abraham but a deal is complicated
Of course, though, it isn’t just Italian clubs who could make a move for Jesus – in the Premier League, Arsenal is another.
The Gunners want a striker and I know for sure only a week or so ago, they discussed signing Tammy Abraham from Roma but a potential deal is very complicated.
Although Abraham is a Roma player, the club’s sporting director confirmed to me that the deal finalised with Chelsea last summer means the striker is effectively on loan for two years before a mandatory fee has to be paid, therefore, given the legalities, if Arsenal were to make a formal approach, they must do so to both Roma and Chelsea, and this is putting Arsenal off, for obvious reasons.
Spurs and Paratici facing transfer challenge
One of the biggest issues with Tottenham Hotspur is the number of home-grown players they have. If they lose the likes of Harry Winks, the problem is going to become even bigger so buying English players is going to be crucial this summer, and this is one of the reasons why they’re really trying to get Middlesbrough’s Djed Spence.
But when it comes to identifying potentially shrewd home-grown signings, because Tottenham Hotspur’s head of recruitment recently moved on, I know the club is looking to bring someone else in, someone who knows the English market better, to work alongside Paratici.
Japhet Tanganga will be ready for Spurs’ pre-season
One player who is homegrown who is continually linked with leaving is a player I represent – Japhet Tanganga.
Tanganga played very well before his injury and he is very versatile so can play as part of a back-four, or back-five, and we have seen Conte use both of these formations before.
I think Tanganga’s first thought needs to be on fully recovering but he will certainly start pre-season with Tottenham Hotspur.
Given how much he played at the start of the season, it is not guaranteed he will leave this summer, in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Conte bring him back into starting contention.
Of course, every player must accept that when a side is competing on multiple fronts, rotation is inevitable, but getting back to playing regularly would be great for Tanganga because he is a player who wants to feel important to a club, especially if they’re one that is going to be challenging for titles and trophies.