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Tottenham turn to Serie A in search of central defensive reinforcements

| 19.12.2013

Etienne Capoue is the square midfield peg currently experiencing the discomfort of being forced into the round hole at the heart of Tottenham’s defence on account of a merciless injury crisis gleefully striking down all their centre backs.

January shopping looks likely for the team that splurged over £100m on players in the summer and, as Daniel Levy readies his chequebook with all the exasperation of a purse string conscience partner who has shacked up with a shop-a-holic, the Spurs recruitment team browse the defensive catalogues.

Perusing the section headed: ‘Continental Bargains’ Andrea Ranocchia of Inter Milan has caught the eye.

The Italian international is rumoured to be available at a knock down price as the length of his contract gradually dissolves and his current coach Walter Mazzari allegedly holds him in not too high a regard.

If that is the case, he may need to revise his principles on what constitutes a good defender, as the Nerazzuri have kept all five of their clean sheets this season when Ranocchia has been holding the fort at the back, with Inter failing to win either match he’s been omitted from the starting line up.

Lauded on these shores, Ranocchia’s availability is thought to have alerted Chelsea, Arsenal and both Manchester factions, so Spurs are going to have to be swift in their advances if they are to snare this target, with his potential other suitors all offering Champions League football as opposed to their less-powerful Europa League bargaining tool.

Exactly how ‘knock down’ the 25-year-old will be on the market for remains to be seen, however, with Inter shelling out a princely €19m to acquire his services from Genoa in 2010 and are likely to demand double digits in the millions column before being coaxed into selling.

Spurs would be best advised to pay the fee given their dire defensive situation, which has seen them slip out to 7/2 in the betting for a top four finish.

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James Middleton