By Alan Hutton

17th Nov, 2021 | 12:00pm

Conte backed by Tottenham to sign De Vrij in January as door open for talks - pundit

Alan Hutton has backed Tottenham to splash out £40million to make Stefan de Vrij Antonio Conte’s first signing in January.

The former Spurs full-back, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 29-year-old is the exact sort of centre-back the Lilywhites need at the heart of their defence.

A source with knowledge of De Vrij’s situation has told Football Insider (15th November) the Inter Milan star is well aware Spurs are interested and is keen on discussing a potential move.

He has already made enquiries to English friends about living in London and what it is like to play for Spurs.

Football Insider revealed earlier this month (2nd November) Conte wants a top-class centre-back signed in January.

He has told Spurs chiefs to target De Vrij, who Inter value at around the £40million mark.

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Hutton insisted the Netherlands international should be Tottenham’s first signing under the Italian boss.

Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “He is what they need. Conte, a back-three is his style.

“He knows how to get the best out of these players and what formation to play. A back-three, you have to be strong.

“I think he’d be a good addition. Decent age, good experience, it’s within the value I think is fair. I mean, some people may say it’s a little bit high for a 29-year-old but you’re getting a wealth of experience and a strong defender.

“You need that foundation to build on moving forward and Conte knows what he’s doing. I would imagine he’s been told he can get X amount in the transfer window and this is how he’s starting to use it, by looking to make De Vrij his first deal.

“Hopefully he spends wisely because the back three, I think, is where they need to strengthen.”

De Vrij played 88 times under Conte during their time at Inter.

In other news, Premier League 28-year-old will be “first through the door at Tottenham in January” as new signing lined up.