Tottenham Hotspur are looking at Portuguese right-back Ricardo Pereira as their top target to replace Kyle Walker.
The England international has left the White Hart Lane with Manchester City snapping him up for a £53 million fee (Guardian), which means the time is ripe for Tottenham to find a replacement. Kieran Trippier signed a new long-term contract with the club earlier and is expected to get a longer rope in the first team. But Mauricio Pochettino is looking for quality competition and Pereira would provide just that.
A report in the Evening Standard claims that the North London club would be ready to splash £22million for the services of the FC Porto defender. The 23-year-old spent the last couple of seasons on loan at Nice and is a part of the Portugal national team.
Pereira comes with strong recommendation from Tottenham’s head scout Steve Hitchen who knows French Ligue1 inside out. A natural right-back, Pereira can deputise on the left side of the defence as well. He is the first choice target for Pochettino who wants the deal to be done at the earliest.
However, Spurs will have to be quick off the blocks if they want to snap up the highly-rated youngster. It is believed that the new PSG sporting director Antero Henrique, who joined from Porto, is a big fan of Pereira and may bid for him. Also interested are Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
If he joins Tottenham, Pereira would look to displace Trippier from the first team and will have competition from Kyle Walker-Peters. The England Under-20 World cup winning youngster is highly rated at the club and is seen a natural fit for the right-back position in the long-term.
But the fact that he is yet to make a first-team appearance for Spurs means that Pochettino would welcome competition for the bench spot too, which is where Pereira would fit hand-in-glove. His adaptability on the pitch is something which attracts Poch and it looks like the deal is a possibility.