Tottenham have agreed a deal worth around £25m to sign Yves Bissouma from Brighton, with the midfielder due to undergo a medical at Spurs on Thursday.
The 25-year-old has just one year left on his contract with Brighton but is now set to become Tottenham’s third summer signing after goalkeeper Fraser Forster and Ivan Perisic joined earlier this month.
Arsenal, Aston Villa and Everton were among other clubs interested in signing the Mali international this summer after Brighton rejected a bid from Aston Villa for Bissouma during the January transfer window.
Tottenham have been watching Bissouma since playing for Lille and he was on their target list to replace Moussa Dembele in 2018.
But Spurs eventually signed Tanguy Ndombele in a club-record deal from club Lyon, while Bissouma joined Brighton for around £15m, where he shone after making 124 appearances for the Seagulls.
Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte was particularly impressed with Bissouma after his performances against Spurs last season.
Spurs in advanced talks to sign Spence
Tottenham are also in advanced talks to sign Djed Spence from Middlesbrough.
Spurs are among the first to sign 21-year-old Spence, who helped Nottingham Forest to promotion to the Premier League while on loan last season.
Tottenham are keen to see further competition to strengthen the wing-back position, and a decision on his future could come in the coming days once he returns from England Under-21.
The club are aware that they need to add to their list of local players.
What positions are Tottenham targeting?
Sky Sports News’ Paul Gilmour:
Following news that Tottenham have invested £150million in the club, Spurs are clearly backing Antonio Conte in the transfer market this summer.
They have targeted several positions including goalkeeper, centre-back, full-back, central midfielder and striker. Spurs have already completed two of their six or seven expected signings this summer in Ivan Perisic and Fraser Forster.
Conte wants more depth in the squad, and he also wants to add experienced players, a change from recent times when Spurs have been targeting younger players.
Some members of the club feel that it is inaccurate not to have spent in the past, but it is recognized that they have not always been successful in recruiting.
Fabio Paratici can’t hurt the club right now. The additions of Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski gave the belief that they are finally succeeding in this area.
Extensive work is being done on player abilities and character. Spurs recently rejected the chance to sign a talented Premier League player because their research revealed concerns he could be a disruptive influence.
What should Tottenham do this summer?
Declan Olley, Sky Sports football reporter:
It’s going to be an exciting summer for Tottenham with the club backing Conte as they look to revamp a squad that can challenge on all fronts next season.
The new wingers on the right and left sides will be a priority for the Italian, with these positions fundamental to his tactical system. Despite an improvement under Conte, doubts remain over right-backs Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty, so a move for Middlesbrough’s Djed Spence makes sense after his impressive loan spell at Nottingham Forest.
On the left side, with Sergio Reguilon out of favor and heading for the exit door, it’s no surprise to see Spurs sign Ivan Perisic on a free transfer from Inter Milan to provide experienced competition for Ryan Sessegnon.
The 33-year-old Croatian’s move sees much of Tottenham’s money spent on a top-quality centre-back, with Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni looking early favorites for Conte and Paratici. His Inter team-mate Milan Skriniar could also be on the shortlist, with the club holding talks with Inter over the Slovak two years ago, while Villarreal’s Pau Torres is another who has already been linked with Tottenham.
Midfield has been a major issue for Spurs in recent seasons and the club should be looking to sign at least two new midfielders, particularly with Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Harry Winks all set to leave this summer.
Christian Eriksen’s potential return on a free transfer is a given and, like Perisic, is profitable. But that would be a different story for Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse, who would likely prove too expensive, so Conte and Paratici appear to have opted for Brighton’s Yves Bissouma.
In attack, the future of Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura is uncertain, particularly the Dutchman who has failed to make an impact since joining from PSV Eindhoven, so Spurs will need to bring in a striker.
The front three of Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Dejan Kulusevski are untouchable at the moment, so ideally the club need to sign a versatile striker who can adapt to any of these positions when called upon.
Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus is certainly the striker Spurs would need to have been linked with the Brazilian, but he’s likely to want to leave the Premier League champions to become another team’s star man.