Tottenham are lining up a summer move for Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar after coming closer than previously reported to landing him in January, Football Insider has been told.
Spurs held extensive talks with the Serie A giants about recruiting the centre-back, 26, during the winter window as well as last summer.
A Tottenham source has told Football Insider that a deal was “very close” to being agreed in January for around £25million.
But Inter pulled the plug on discussions as Skriniar had recovered his best form following a difficult start to the season and they did not want to let him go.
Spurs are planning to open talks for the Slovakia international in the next window as Jose Mourinho is a big admirer of him.
Talk of a potential £60million-plus fee is said to be wide of the mark.
There is no chance of Tottenham paying anywhere near that and Inter are not in a position to command a huge fee.
They are said to be a difficult financial situation and that will open the door for Tottenham to make another move.
The club’s top priority in the summer is to recruit a top-class centre-back after failing to do so last summer.
Spurs did sign Joe Rodon from Swansea City during the short domestic-only window in October for an £11million fee rising to £15m.
But there are doubts over the futures of Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez, while the club’s best centre-back, Toby Alderweireld, turned 32 last month.
Skriniar has made 22 Serie A starts among 30 Inter appearances this season and been a key player as they close in on their first title in 11 years.
He joined Inter in 2017 and has made 158 appearances in all competitions.