Antonio Conte would like to recreate a key partnership with his title-winning Inter Milan at his new Tottenham side for the upcoming campaign.
On Conte’s instructions, Spurs have already signed Ivan Perisic before the summer transfer window opens, with the 33-year-old arriving at Hotspur Way last week. The Croatia international, who has won the Champions League, two Bundesliga titles, Serie A as well as domestic cups with four different clubs, is expected to compete with 21-year-old Ryan Sessegnon on the left side to give Conte a mix of experience and youth on this flank. Both players can also play higher up the pitch if needed.
With Perisic’s signature secured, Conte and Spurs chief football officer Fabio Paratici wants to bring another Inter player to north London in the form of 23-year-old Italy international Alessandro Bastoni. The young centre-back is happy at Milan, but Tottenham hope Inter’s need to sell to fund their summer transfer plans could end up pushing him towards a move once he returns from international duty.
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Bastoni’s agent, Tullio Tinti, seemed to imply that this week, when speaking to Sportitalia about the defender: “He is certainly a big fan of the team he plays for, so he will happily stay with him. “Inter. However, he is also a professional. It is football and he has to adapt. It is clear that he is very happy to play for Inter and feels this shirt like a tattoo on his skin.”
Tottenham’s interest in Bastoni isn’t just about making a random signing for a talented player. Not only has the centre-back worked extensively with Conte, but he has also forged a solid partnership on the left side of the pitch with Perisic which started in their title-winning 2020/21 season under the current Spurs boss and continued in the next. country.
Bastoni is capable of playing in the center of a back three or on the left side and when Conte converted Perisic at full back, the two players hit it off.
Bastoni has certainly enjoyed their time together and last season told Italian media: “The understanding that Ivan and I are creating this year is great, we are having a lot of fun.”
After watching the super-fit Perisic score two extra-time goals in the Coppa Italia final against Juventus and then impress again days later in Serie A against Cagliari, the young centre-back said the Croatian was a breed different from most footballers. and someone he sees as an example.
“Even in training he is still strong, at dinner I asked him what he ate because I would have eaten the same thing too, but it was bread, turkey and avocado, a deadly stuff!” he told DAZN. “Ivan is a great professional to take as an example, he played 120 minutes in the Italian Cup and today he was better than Wednesday.”
The Bastoni-Perisic partnership has been praised by the Italian media in recent seasons, notably in the 3-0 away win against Jose Mourinho’s Roma last December. Perisic was a constant livewire down the left, while behind him Bastoni not only helped keep a clean sheet, but pushed the field behind the Croatian and provided a fine assist for Denzel Dumfries to score.
After this match, the duo were named as the best players by the Milanese newspaper Libero. As detailed by Semper Inter, Perisic was praised for his tireless running, his willingness to round his counterpart on the left and his positional sense to maintain the left flank.
Bastoni was credited with his skill in possession helping Inter dominate the ball against their neighbors and he was praised by the newspaper for his aggressive positioning, with the defender rewarded for his forward forays with an excellent assist for Inter’s third goal, as they climbed. as a left-back and launched a perfect left-footed cross into the box for right-back Dumfries to strike home with a diving header.
It was a move between the two flanks that Conte would have been proud of had he still been in charge. Now the 52-year-old is in charge of Tottenham and he is keen to re-establish that partnership on the north London left side.
The two players’ familiarity with each other would certainly make it easier for them to adapt to the Premier League. In Bastoni, Spurs see a potential heir to Jan Vertonghen with his cultivated left foot and ability to get out of defense with the ball, while being physically strong. Vertonghen also had a good on-field relationship with Tottenham’s left-sided strikers, such as Gareth Bale and later Son Heung-min.
When Perisic announced his move to Tottenham last week, Bastoni responded on Instagram with the simple message “Good luck bro”, complete with a heart emoji. The decision is now up to the young defender whether a reunion with Perisic and Conte can take place and he will follow his Croatian brother to the Premier League this summer.