Daniel Levy and Tottenham were extremely busy in the transfer window last summer with seven new additions brought in for Jose Mourinho, writes football.london.
The return of Gareth Bale to the club on loan from Real Madrid was the most notable arrival, with the club doing some smart business to sign the likes of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Sergio Reguilon.
It became clear during the first few months of Mourinho’s tenure that Tottenham needed to sign a centre-back given their issues there but the wait to sign one did go on a lot longer than initially expected.
Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar was heavily linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but a deal could just not be agreed on.
The Italian giants were holding out for £45million for their centre-back, who was very keen to make the move, ahead of the transfer deadline, with Spurs only looking to spend around £32m to get their man.
There was to be no compromise between the clubs, however, and in the end Spurs moved for Swansea City defender Joe Rodon in the bonus transfer window between Premier League and EFL clubs.
With the young Welshman struggling for minutes immediately after his move as Mourinho kept faith with Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld, Skriniar, on the other hand, was a regular in Antonio Conte’s Inter backline.
More than playing his part as the Nerazzurri won Serie A for the first time in 11 years, the Slovakian will have been glad to remain at the San Siro in a season where Spurs really struggled and again missed out on a Champions League berth.
Asked numerous times since October about talk over a move to north London, Skriniar always claimed that his intention was to remain in Milan despite Spurs’ interest.
Amid further links with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, the centre-back said earlier in May that he doesn’t listen to any talk regarding his future.
“There have been rumours, there are and there will be,” he told Sport Aktuality (via Goal ). “However, I have never listened to or commented them.
“Of course, it will be no different after this season.”
Despite a season of success at the San Siro, it is a huge summer coming up for the Italian giants due to their financial issues.
Conte, who led Inter to the Scudetto, departed last week by mutual consent amid reports that the club plan to sell £70m worth of players ahead of next season as they bid to save money.
Star players Romelu Lukaku, Achraf Hakimi and Lautaro Martinez, unsurprisingly, have all been linked with big-money exits to raise the necessary funds, although Inter will no doubt be intent on moving others on as they bid to have another successful season in Serie A and also go far in the Champions League.
That in turn could open the door for Spurs to try their luck again and move for Skriniar, who has two years left on his contract, for a cut-price fee as they bid to solve their defensive woes.
However, that’s all going to come down to how much money the club have available in the transfer market and also how willing Inter are to part with the 26-year-old.
Strengthening at the back is a top priority ahead of next season and football.london understands that Spurs would ideally like to bring in two centre-backs but to do so they would need to move a couple on.
Joachim Andersen, who spent the season on loan in the Premier League with Fulham, is one player the club are considering making a move for, with Fiorentina centre-back Nikola Milenkovic also another on Spurs’ radar.
Whether Tottenham indeed launch a move for Skriniar or the aforementioned duo, Levy and the club’s next manager need to solve the issue for good if they are to move forward again after two hugely disappointing seasons in the capital.