Tottenham target €30m Bundesliga centre-back to replace Saudi-bound star

Stuttgart's Hiroki Ito has been picked out as a prime defensive target for Tottenham
Stuttgart's Hiroki Ito has been picked out as a prime defensive target for Tottenham

Tottenham are said to be closely monitoring VfB Stuttgart defender Hiroki Ito as Ange Postecoglou looks to his defence to help close the gap to the Premier League’s top three.

Postecoglou would recognise the need to tighten up at the back as Tottenham seek to close a roughly 40-goal gap to the Premier League’s title contenders on the evidence of last season.

Tottenham set to invest in top defender

Reports coming out of Germany suggest that Tottenham might consider meeting the Japan international’s release clause to spring him from his long-term contract at Stuttgart.

Ito extended his stay at Stuttgart in 2023 when it is believed a €30 million release clause was also added to his contract which Tottenham might view as something of a bargain.

The 25-year-old defender is left-footed and primarily plays as a centre-back but he can also deputise as a fullback giving Postecoglou much-needed defensive cover.

Tottenham were already looking a little thin at the back towards the end of the 2023/24 season and could be set to lose Emerson Royal to a mega-money deal from Cristiano Ronaldo’s Saudi side Al-Nassr.

Ito’s efforts in the Bundesliga have sparked increasing interest, after he played his part in helping Stuttgart finish as the runners-up in the league this past season.

Spurs are undoubtedly able to afford the stated asking amount, but whether they can close the transaction is still up in the air.

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The Japanese defender would be perfect fit for Tottenham as they look to bolster the calibre and depth of their defence.

Reporters from Germany have suggested that Ito might be open to a move to the Premier League as an ambitious young player who still feels like he has a lot to prove in the game.

Spurs need to tighten up to challenge the elite

Across their Premier League campaign last time out, Spurs leaked 61 goals and while that was the same number let in by fourth-placed Aston Villa, Tottenham are a club with ambitions of achieving more than just fourth and will feel that they have to improve at the back to the tune of around 20-25 goals.

With Financial Fair Play and sustainability rules being more rigorously enforced, clubs now need to be more circumspect in their transfer dealings, for fear of falling foul of the regulations down the line.

However, there are positive signs that Postecoglou has identified which players in the group will not be playing a part next season and Tottenham might soon have some new signings to look forward to seeing out on the pitch next season.