Tottenham Hotspur have entered the race to sign Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla, who is also linked with Chelsea and Manchester United.
According to a report from Italian publication L’Arena, Tottenham Hotspur are the latest entrants in the race for the transfer of Hellas Verona and Albania centre-back Marash Kumbulla. The 20-year-old is also on the radars of Chelsea and Manchester United.
Kumbulla came through the youth ranks at Hellas Verona and made his senior debut for the club in 2018. He featured just twice that season even as the club earned promotion to the Serie A. The centre-back became a regular for the first-team in the 2019/20 campaign.
Kumbulla featured 25 times for Verona in what was his debut Serie A season, playing a key role in the club’s ninth-place finish. On the back of his solid displays, the youngster also earned a call-up to the Albanian national team last year. And his rise over the last year hasn’t gone unnoticed, with a number of clubs, including Chelsea and Manchester United eyeing a move.
Chelsea, who have been by far the most active club in the window in Europe, struggled defensively last season. They have strengthened the ranks with the addition of Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr. However, the latter is expected to leave on loan before the window closes, thus warranting another centre-back addition at Stamford Bridge.
With Fikayo Tomori also likely to be loaned out this summer and Thiago hardly representing a long-term solution, bringing in someone like Kumbulla to bolster their defensive ranks would be a sensible move for the club.
At the same time, Manchester United are also in the market for a new central defender as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks for a reliable partner for club captain Harry Maguire. Victor Lindelof hasn’t been convincing enough in his three years at the club, whereas Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe remain injury-prone.
With none of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo in the manager’s plans, United’s pursuit of a new centre-back and interest in Kumbulla makes sense. However, both the clubs will now have to contend with added competition from rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs were also poor defensively in the season gone by, with none of the centre-backs currently on the books impressing. In addition, the North Londoners have lost Jan Vertonghen, who left when his contract expired at the end of last season.
Juan Foyth’s future at the club remains uncertain, whereas the partnership of Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier was not convincing in the season opener against Everton on Sunday. Thus, signing a new centre-back of Kumbulla’s ilk would be a step in the right direction for the club.
Apart from the three aforementioned clubs, Inter Milan are also keen on the Albanian international. In fact, it was even claimed that they were closing in on Kumbulla’s signing, but things have quietened down on that front. Fellow Serie A outfit, Lazio, too have shown an interest in the 20-year-old.
It is clear that Kumbulla is a man in demand in the current transfer window. With as many as five clubs vying for his signature, it will be interesting to see where the young defender ends up before the window closes.