Tottenham are expected to announce their first signing of the summer next week. But it might not be what backers first thought.
Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster has been heavily linked with a move to Spurs since the end of the Premier League season, with talk of a medical before a free transfer to Spurs. However, another player may have jumped to the front of the queue to sign for Antonio Conte’s side now.
Croatia international Ivan Perisic is said to be close to joining Spurs on a free transfer as his contract with Inter Milan expires. Perisic has previously worked with Conte when both won the Serie A title with Inter in the 2020/21 season.
CONTINUE READING:Ivan Perisic on Tottenham: what Conte, Mourinho and Inzaghi said about the ‘complete’ player
While there were earlier doubts about Conte’s future, the feeling at Spurs is that the head coach is content with the ambition to continue next season and help him bring silverware to the club. He and football’s technical director Fabio Paratici met in Italy on Friday to discuss transfer targets and on a break from the norm at Tottenham it looks like early signings are the order of the day, with Perisic the first will be of many.
The 33-year-old brings not only national title wins, but also European championships with a lot of experience. Conte wants to challenge on all fronts next season and previously admitted he wanted to win trophies rather than just qualifying for the Champions League every season.
And Tottenham could snag a lucky charm in signing Perisic from Inter Milan. Real Madrid won their 14th Champions League title with a 1-0 win over Liverpool on Saturday. Her team included former Spurs man Luka Modric, who pulled the strings in the middle of the park.
And there was an interesting stat from the game in Paris with Modric. According to Croatia Week, it was the 11th consecutive Champions League final involving a Croatian player – with Perisic being one of them in 202 when he won it with Bayern Munich.
2012 – Ivica Olić (Bayern Munich)
2013 – Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich)
2014 – Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
2015 – Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona)
2016 – Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid)
2017 – Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus)
2018 – Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool)
2019 – Dejan Lovren (Liverpool)
2020 – Ivan Perisic (Bayern Munich)
2021 – Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea)
2022 – Luke Modric (Real Madrid)
So if Tottenham confirm Perisic’s signing next week, they could have the Croatian talisman they need in their Champions League assault next season. Conte and the Spurs supporters are certainly hoping for another final, hopefully with a better outcome than 2019. A Croatian has won the title in the last ten finals.