Fraser Forster is expected to become the first signing of what is likely to be an active summer transfer window at Tottenham.
i understands the goalkeeper has already completed his medical and his transfer will be announced in the coming days. The 34-year-old, who made 19 appearances in the Premier League this season, is out of contract at Southampton.
While Forster will only be a deputy to Hugo Lloris, with the France captain handed a new two-and-a-half-year deal in January, his addition fills an immediate void with previous second-choice stopper Pierluigi Gollini set to return to Atalanta.
Spurs did have the option to make Gollini’s deal permanent, but he only played eight games during his loan spell and half of those were in the Conference League; with the north Londoners having qualified for the Champions League, it is anticipated that Lloris will play a much more prominent role in Europe next season.
The need to boost the ranks has also been heightened by the departure of 20-year-old goalkeeper Kacper Kurylowicz, who had trained with the first team and was occasionally selected as a third-choice option on matchdays.
There is considerable excitement surrounding Conte’s summer plans, particularly after the club confirmed a capital increase of up to £150m from majority shareholders Enic as they promised to invest in “sporting ambition”.
That has been widely interpreted as a statement of intent to back Conte, who has repeatedly made it known that he desires new recruits.
Christian Eriksen, another free transfer, is understood to be one option on the table as he nears the end of his Brentford contract. Spurs’ hopes of a reunion with the playmaker are boosted by the fact that out of the top European leagues, legislation only allows him to play for clubs in England and the Netherlands due to the Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) he had fitted after his collapse at Euro 2020.
A left-sided centre-back, a combative midfielder, and at least one wing-back are also on the agenda. Although a number of high-profile Premier League midfielders – including James Ward-Prowse and John McGinn – have been linked, the in-demand Kalvin Phillips could be the subject of a bidding war and Leeds are in a stronger position after securing their top-flight status.
Spurs have outstanding fees to pay off in order to sign loanees Rodrigo Bentancur, Dejan Kulusevski and Cristian Romero on permanent deals, while there is also a balance to pay on the deal that brought Sergio Reguilon in from Real Madrid. One major positive is that there is no longer any real concern about Harry Kane leaving, with last summer’s suitors Manchester City having signed Erling Haaland.
There is uncertainty throughout the Premier League about exactly how the transfer window will play out, with clubs still recovering financially from the impact of Covid.
That means Tottenham are prioritising what they can control first. Striker Dane Scarlett, 18, has been given a new four-year deal but final decisions still need to be made on those who have been out on loan, such as Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jack Clarke. Bryan Gil is likely to go out on loan again.
The summer will be an opportunity to put faith in not only Conte, with the sense that Spurs need to seize a moment in time under one of the most successful active managers in world football, but also in their sporting director Fabio Paratici, whose methods have been vindicated by the immediate impact of Bentancur and Kulusevski.
The Forster deal is a reminder nonetheless that first and foremost, the club will focus on filling in the gaps and improving their homegrown quota before attention turns to Conte’s first-team targets.