Mourinho calls priority signing but face fight with Levy

Matt Stead

Daniel Levy ‘will need to be persuaded’ by Jose Mourinho to sign Thomas Meunier.

Mourinho has identified Meunier as his first-choice target for the role of right-back, with Serge Aurier mercifully deemed unsuitable.

Nelson Semedo is one option for Tottenham in a possible part-exchange with Tanguy Ndombele, but Meunier might be more attainable and cost-effective.

The Belgium international is out of contract at PSG in the summer and is considering his next club, with Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United and Arsenal all previously linked.

Meunier himself dismissed interest from Tottenham as a “craze” earlier this month, but Mourinho has attempted to grease the transfer wheels.

The Portuguese phoned the defender two days ago for ‘a long chat’, with ESPN suggesting Meunier was ‘flattered’.

Mourinho explained during the call that he is targeting a right-back and has him ‘top of his list’, but that chairman Levy would have to be ‘persuaded’ to sanction the move at a time he is trying to reduce the average age of the squad.

The player’s agent, Jacques Lichtenstein, is said to be close to Levy and fellow broker Pini Zahavi, who has dealt with Mourinho and Tottenham in the past.

“I have always made it clear that my ambition was to stay with PSG,” Meunier said a few weeks ago, adding: “A free, international player, who plays in the FIFA ranked world’s No.1 team (Belgium) and who is 28 years old, it cannot be a bad buy, even if I get gangrene and I have to cut off a leg!”

While Meunier’s desire is to stay in Paris, it is believed that PSG will instead pursue Achraf Hakimi, Hamari Traore or Adam Marusic of Real Madrid, Rennes and Lazio respectively.