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Meet the Argentine centre-half Pochettino’s targeting for Spurs

| 04.08.2014

Tottenham Hotspur have enjoyed a sensible silly season so far, with Ben Davies brought in from Swansea to fill the gaping void at left-back and goalkeeper Michel Vorm following the 21-year-old from the Liberty Stadium.

Spurs’ Gareth Bale-sale inspired 2013 summer of madness left them with £100m worth of talent, so new coach Mauricio Pochettino’s remit has been to target areas of weakness within the squad and change the playing philosophy towards his high-tempo trademark.

A new striker wouldn’t go amiss at this stage, with Roberto Soldado, Emmanuel Adebayor and Harry Kane unlikely to have Premier League defences keeling over in fright this term, but of even greater concern is centre-back, where Spurs palpably struggled during 2013/14.

England Under-21 regular Eric Dier has been brought in for around £4m from Sporting Lisbon, and the Cheltenham native looks a shrewd purchase as he can also cover in deep midfield if required.

However, a new senior centre-half is a must purchase, with injury-prone duo Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul always likely to miss large chunks of any given season.

According to recent reports, Pochettino has identified Argentine compatriot Mateo Musacchio of La Liga’s Villarreal as the man to lead his defence into the new campaign, for which Spurs are priced up at 7/2 to finish in the top four for the first time since the 2011/12 campaign.

The 23-year-old two-cap Albiceleste star has been a regular for the Yellow Submarine since breaking into the first team in February 2010, experiencing the lows of relegation and highs of promotion with the Mediterranean coast club.

Musacchio enjoyed a fine season at Estadio El Madrigal, with Villarreal finishing in sixth and qualifying for the Europa League.

Barcelona were thought favourites to sign him before bagging Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia, leaving Pochettino in pole position to snag the centre-half for Spurs.

He won’t come cheap though, with Villarreal reportedly unwilling to let their star defender go for anything less than £21m.

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Alex Fortune