Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham revolution will start at the back this summer – as the Portuguese plans to rip up his ageing defence and fill it with a potential £120million injection of youth and pace. The Spurs manager has targeted Benfica’s Portugal international Ruben Dias as one of the top class centre-backs he wants – and Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake is another target.
Tottenham are also interested in Norwich’s talented 20-year-old full-back Max Aarons and will make a £15million move in the summer – and Nice’s Youcef Atal, at 24 is another who could figure at around £25m. Leicester’s Ben Chilwell is also being monitored.
With Toby Alderweireld now 30, and Jan Vertonghen – whose contract runs out this summer – 32, Mourinho wants more youth in his side to come through alongside talented youngsters like Japhet Tanganga and Ryan Sessegnon.
Liverpool and Manchester City are both also interested in Dias, who has 16 caps for his country at the age of 22 – but the centre-back signed new deal with Benfica in November which included a buy out clause of around £80m which may prove a stumbling block for Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
But Dias’ agent is Jorge Mendes, who has always been close to Mourinho and helped bring several players to Chelsea when the Special One was in charge there, so a deal cannot be ruled out.
Ake, certain to leave Bournemouth if the Cherries go down this season, and at around £40million he might be more to Levy’s liking, and he is only 24.
Mourinho, who on Monday week watched Champions League opponents RB Leipzig hold Bayern to a goalless draw in Munich, said: “I want to try to have an evolution of the team in areas where we cannot do it now.”
Vertonghen is expected to be one of those who leaves the club at the end of the season when his current deal runs out, and Danny Rose, 29, has already moved to Newcastle on loan.
The Spurs manager added: “Contrary to some people who tell things that are not true – I am really happy at the club.