Antonio Conte hopes Fabio Paratici can work a little more magic in the transfer market this summer as he looks to take Tottenham to the next level. Desperate to bring in some new faces in the head coach in charge of Spurs’ first transfer window, the chief football officer returned to his former club Juventus to sign two players.
Rodrigo Bentancur, who was linked with a January switch to Aston Villa, arrived in a move worth £21.5m and signed a four-and-a-half-year contract at N17, Dejan Kulusevski arriving with a 18 month loan agreement. The deal for the Swede contains an obligation to buy £29m if certain criteria are met, but Spurs can act early to sign him for £25m this summer and save some cash in the process.
Showing so far at Tottenham that he likes the move for players on loan with the option or obligation to buy, Paratici’s time at Juventus has also underlined that he likes a free transfer. Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba, Kingsley Coman, Dani Alves, Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot were just some of the players signed on a free basis during Paratici’s time with the Bianconeri.
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The 49-year-old could be set to repeat the transfer trick this summer as football.london understands Spurs are currently favorites to strike a deal for West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone when his contract with the Baggies expires at the end of June. The England international is one of a select group of goalkeepers that Tottenham are considering providing Hugo Lloris as a backup, which in turn suggests that Pierluigi Gollini’s loan from Atalanta will not be made permanent.
The Italian has made ten appearances in all competitions for Tottenham this season, although he is yet to feature in the Premier League with ever-present Lloris in 2021/22. Gollini’s Spurs loan deal contains an option to buy, believed to be around £13m.
Gollini didn’t really look convincing between the sticks when he played for Tottenham nor looked like he could overtake Lloris and become the long-term No.1, while a deal for Johnstone would see Spurs bring in a stopper with Premier League experience and who could perhaps take the Frenchman’s gloves in the years to come. The fact that Johnstone would also arrive on a free transfer would subsequently mean that the money they could have used for Gollini if they wanted to sign him permanently can now be used elsewhere to improve the team.
Paratici and the club could instead use the funds to convert Kulusevski’s loan deal into a permanent one, while Cristian Romero’s loan is also to be made permanent. The deal for the defender last August was a one-season deal with an option – not an obligation – to buy for £42.5million.
football.london reported at the time that all parties expect the deal to be completed in the summer of 2022, hence why a five-year deal has already been agreed between Romero and the northern outfit from London. The bonus of potentially signing Johnstone on a free transfer means Spurs don’t have to go out and spend huge sums to find cover for Lloris, but now have the option of putting the money into the Kulusevski and Romero deals.
Paratici has demonstrated in the past that he knows how to pull off a transfer move or two after a number of shrewd signings from Juventus. Tottenham fans may be about to see the Italian at his best this summer, with Johnstone a key arrival in Conte’s 2022/23 squad roster.