Real Madrid are reportedly set to face competition from Tottenham in pursuit of Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni, with Antonio Conte keen on a reunion.
According to El Nacional, Tottenham Hotspur have entered the race to secure the signing of Inter Milan and Italy centre-back Alessandro Bastoni, who is also a priority transfer target for La Liga bigwigs Real Madrid.
Bastoni joined Inter Milan from boyhood club Atalanta in the summer of 2017 and spent the subsequent campaign on loan with La Dea. The defender then had another temporary stint away at Parma before being integrated into the first team at San Siro by Antonio Conte. Since then, the 22-year-old has not looked back, establishing himself as one of the best young defenders in Italy.
Bastoni, to date, has made 88 appearances for the Nerazzurri, bagging two goals and setting up six more. The ball-playing centre-back was a key part of Conte’s title-winning outfit last season, while he was also part of the Italy squad that lifted the UEFA Euro 2020 in the summer. His progress with club and country has put the 22-year-old on the radars of several top clubs, including Real Madrid.
This past summer, the Merengues lost two of their most experienced defenders when Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane left for Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, respectively. While David Alaba has arrived and done well so far, Real Madrid could use another world-class defender as there are not many options beyond Alaba, Eder Militao and an ageing Nacho.
To that end, they have been linked with several defenders of late, including Jules Kounde of Sevilla. But, as per the report, Bastoni remains very high on the wishlist of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who has greenlighted the signing of the 22-year-old. However, Los Blancos’ pursuit of the Italian could get complicated because of Tottenham’s entry into the picture.
Tottenham have made yet another managerial change this year, getting rid of Nuno Espirito Santo to replace him with Conte. The Italian tactician is seeking additions to the rearguard at the north London club and is ready to raid his former employers to bolster his new squad. Stefen de Vrij has been mentioned as a target for Conte’s Spurs, with Bastoni also now emerging as an option on their radar.
Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez have continued to blow hot and cold, leaving new signing Cristian Romero with a lot to do. Joe Rodon has been unable to achieve the kind of progress that was expected of him either. So, another signing in the centre-back department for Tottenham would be a well-advised move.
Bastoni, to that end, would be a viable option to consider. The report claims that Real Madrid want to launch a move for the Italian in the summer. In contrast, Conte has asked Tottenham to sign in the January transfer window itself, putting the Spanish heavyweights in a difficult position. It remains to be seen who comes out on top in the battle for the 22-year-old’s signing.