Tottenham Hotspur have set their sights on AC Milan defender and Barcelona target Alessio Romagnoli, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

According to Calciomercato, Tottenham Hotspur have entered the race to sign Barcelona transfer target Alessio Romagnoli. The AC Milan star has emerged as the latest target for the newly-appointed Antonio Conte, who is keen on adding more depth to his defensive unit, preferably in the upcoming January transfer window.

Milan are working on a deal to extend the contract of Romagnoli. His current deal expires at the end of the season, essentially making him a potential free agent next summer. Aside from Tottenham, FC Barcelona and Juventus remain interested in the services of the experienced centre-back.

Formerly of AS Roma, Romagnoli joined Milan back in 2015 for a fee of €25 million. He became a defensive lynchpin right from the get-go, featuring in 2,300 or more minutes in all of his first five seasons at San Siro.

However, the Italian’s role in the first team took a slight hit after the arrival of Stefano Pioli. Other than revitalising the whole team, the Milan tactician played a key role in the rapid improvement of defensive figures such as Simon Kjaer, Davide Calabria and Fikayo Tomori.

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 22: Alessio Romagnoli of AC Milan looks on during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Juventus FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 22, 2016 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

What does the future hold for Romagnoli? (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

It has invariably left Romagnoli trailing behind in the pecking order. Despite captaining the side on most occasions, the centre-back has started only six of Milan’s 12 games this season. Hence, it might be an ideal time for the player to take the next step in his career.

Tottenham, for one, are prepared to offer him the ideal platform to prove himself. Their coach Conte is well aware of Romagnoli’s strengths, having managed Milan’s rivals for years.

He is also looking for a direct replacement for the inconsistent Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez, so the Italian international should have no problems finding regular game-time. The Lilywhites, though, are also chasing Inter Milan’s Stefan de Vrij.

As for Barcelona, they are preparing for life without the ageing Gerard Pique, while the likes of Clement Lenglet and Eric Garcia have proved to be liabilities. In addition, Samuel Umtiti is out of favour and could be shown the exit doors in the near future. The Catalans are thus hoping to add a bit more quality and experience to their backline by bringing in Alessio Romagnoli.

The 26-year-old’s progress has been halted over the past year or so, but given his talent, he certainly has what it takes to emerge as the leader Barca have been craving for all these years. But with Tottenham also in the picture for his signing, it will be interesting to see where Romagnoli ends up next year.

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