Tottenham want £39m Manchester United and Liverpool target in January

Tottenham have joined the race to sign Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo, as they prepare to enter the transfer market for a new centre-back in January.

Spurs are desperate for defensive reinforcements and are ready to rival Manchester United and Liverpool for France international Todibo.

The 23-year-old has impressed in a Nice side challenging Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1 and is said to be available for around £39million.

Spurs have made a new centre-back their top priority in January but they are expected to face competition from some of the best clubs in Europe for Todibo.

Jean-Clair Todibo is also of interest to Manchester United and Liverpool (AFP via Getty Images)

Micky van de Ven is out until next year with a hamstring injury and, with Cristian Romero suspended, Ange Postecoglou played full-backs Ben Davies and Emerson Royal in central defence in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa.

Spurs also have long-standing interest in Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly, while Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi and Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite are possible alternative targets.

Todibo is keen to move to the Premier League but, having broken into the France squad, will seek assurances he will be a regular starter as he bids to force his way into an ultra-competitive Les Bleus backline ahead of Euro 2024 next summer.

Spurs already have a top-level centre-back pairing in Van de Ven and Romero, but are looking to add depth in that position.

Todibo is also in less of a rush to move given Nice are mounting a title challenge after an unbeaten start of the season.

Lloyd Kelly is a cheaper option with his contract at Bournemouth set to expire (Getty Images)

Postecoglou wants a new defensive signing lined up to come in early in January.

New Spurs sporting director Johan Lange will help guide chairman Daniel Levy over January plans and add names to their shortlist.

Palace and Everton will fight hard to keep both Guehi and Branthwaite, and Kelly may be the most viable option in January given his contract expires next summer.

Kelly did, however, sustain a hamstring injury at the weekend and could be set for a spell on the sidelines himself.

Eric Dier could leave Spurs in January after again being dropped for the Villa defeat.

Spurs could move to sign Jota on loan from Al-Ittihad (Getty Images)

Although a centre-back is the priority in January, Spurs could also look to add depth in other positions, including on the wing where Ivan Perisic is out for the season and Manor Solomon is expected to be sidelined until next year.

A loan move for Jota, the Al-Ittihad winger who played under Postecoglou at Celtic, is a possibility, with the Portuguese currently ineligible to play for the Saudi Pro League side due to a rule limiting the number of foreign players per club.

Jota, 24, starred for Postecoglou in Glasgow before joining Al-Ittihad in a £25million deal in the summer.

Since September he has been limited to appearances in the Asian Champions League and is expected to move in the winter window.


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