Spurs fans and Conte right to be annoyed as stingy Levy refuses to pay release clause for top target

Jason Soutar
Reported Tottenham target Pedro Porro looks dejected

Tottenham have reportedly ‘cooled’ their interest in Spanish defender Pedro Porro due to Sporting Lisbon’s asking price.

Antonio Conte is desperate to bolster his squad in the winter transfer window and signing a new right-wing-back appears to be a top priority.

The north Londoners signed Djed Spence from Middlesbrough last summer, but the young defender has struggled for game time under Conte.

Emerson Royal has often been Conte’s first-choice right-wing-back, though Matt Doherty has started both Premier League games post-World Cup.

Neither Doherty nor Emerson have managed to endear themselves to the Tottenham fan base and their position is arguably the one that needs to be upgraded the most.

A new central defender wouldn’t go amiss, having said that.

Tottenham have been linked with Sporting defender Pedro Porro in recent weeks and were believed to be preparing a bid to sign him.

However, in classic Spurs and Daniel Levy fashion, they have been put off by the player’s asking price, according to Sky Sports.

Sporting signed Porro from Manchester City for £7.2million after a successful loan spell, and the Portuguese club included a £40m release clause in the transfer.

This is the fee they want Spurs to pay, but the Premier League side are not keen.

£40m is a pretty fair price in this day and age and signing a new right-wing-back should definitely be on Conte and Levy’s agenda.

The Spaniard has been excellent since joining Sporting and manager Ruben Amorim recently claimed that Porro should be considered as “one of the great full-backs in Europe”.

Tottenham know all about Porro after playing against Sporting in this season’s Champions League group stage.

However, they risk missing out on qualification for Europe’s premier competition if they do not improve the squad in January.

There are plenty of positions they need to improve and if they do not address the gaping holes in their squad they will probably finish outside the top four, and if that happens, you would expect Conte to walk at the end of 2022-23.

The Italian is out of contract in the summer and has often voiced his displeasure at the squad he has at his disposal.

Conte was backed last summer with the club bringing in Richarlison for around £50m, though he did admit that Spence was a “club signing”, hinting that he didn’t want to bring him in, and the player’s lack of game time has all but confirmed this theory.

Richarlison is currently injured and Spurs’ bench for Sunday’s match against Aston Villa was extremely worrying.

Conte’s side lacks depth and the Italian had to call upon Bryan Gil to start against Unai Emery’s side, a year on from the Spanish winger being loaned out to Valencia.

Spurs’ lack of ambition in the transfer market in recent years has really held them back. Even when Mauricio Pochettino was at the club he was not backed and eventually lost his job.

While this has been frustrating for Pochettino, Conte, and Jose Mourinho, it is the same old story for Spurs fans, who will be extremely fed up at seeing Levy continue to be stingy in the transfer market.

Conte admitted after Sunday’s loss to Villa that pre-season talk of Spurs being title contenders was “crazy”.

He said: “I was very clear with the club, because I remember very well in the summer, people talking about Tottenham as title contenders.

“It was a bit crazy to read this. To become a title contender, to become a team ready to fight to win something, you need to have a solid foundation.

“That means to have 14 or 15 strong players, quality and the other young players to develop. And, every season, you can add two players by investing £50m, £60m, £70m, and this means you are signing important players that improve quality and the level of your team.”

The Italian also said it would be a “miracle” to see his side finish inside the top four this term, even though they are only two points behind fourth-placed Manchester United.

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