Kessie in, Dele out: What Tottenham need in January transfer window

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald
  • 4 min read
Franck Kessie of AC Milan in a Serie A match vs Hellas Verona.
© ProShots

Tottenham will be one of the biggest spenders in the January transfer window, with Antonio Conte set to be given a war chest to improve his squad as Spurs hope to return to the Champions League.

In the summer, with Nuno Espirito Santo in charge, Spurs spent €67 million on Emerson Royal, Bryan Gil and Pape Sarr, but none of these players have significantly improved the squad in North London, meaning more recruits are required midseason.

In Conte's negotiations to replace Nuno, he was reportedly given assurances over funds to be available in January, which means Tottenham are set to be very active.

Spurs have been linked with a number of players recently, while there are stars currently at the club who could be moved on to make way for new arrivals.


Tottenham are well stocked in the goalkeeping department as they have World Cup winner Hugo Lloris as well as Pierluigi Gollini on loan from Atalanta.

They are currently sweating over the future of Lloris as his contract expires in June of 2022, but the club are hopeful that he will put pen to paper on a new deal soon.


This is likely the area that will receive the most attention from Conte, as he prides himself on his sides being extremely solid defensively.

As highlighted by the calamitous defending against Chelsea in the League Cup, Spurs are far away from the solidity Conte desires.

The former Inter boss has been strongly linked with a few former players including two Nerazzurri defenders Stefan de Vrij and Milan Skriniar. Both would represent upgrades on the defenders he has at his disposal first, and both are well-versed on his preferred 3-5-2/3-4-3 formations.

Tottenham want Milan Skriniar
© ProShots - Tottenham want Milan Skriniar

Expect cash-strapped Inter to be bracing themselves for a bid.

Spurs have also made their interest known in Pau Torres of Villarreal.

In terms of outgoings, it may be the case that current defenders leave near the end of the window if Conte gets the men in he wants. Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier, Joe Rodon and Japhet Tanganga will all be considering their futures soon.

Sergio Reguilon, Ben Davies, Emerson Royal, Ryan Sessegnon and Matt Doherty will be kept around in the full-back roles for now, but a swoop for Ivan Perisic at wing-back has been mentioned.


Spurs have been linked with a host of midfielders in January but the most frequent stories surround Milan star Franck Kessie. Milan will be looking to make some money on Kessie rather than allow him to leave for free in the summer, which means he could be available at a reasonable price, with Conte said to be a fan.

Director of football Fabio Paratici, formerly of Juventus, will have a say on transfer dealings and he is reportedly eager to bring in Weston McKennie, though his performances in Serie A in 2021/2 have been less than impressive.

Denis Zakaria is another player who will be a free agent in the summer and available for a knockdown price, but Tottenham place plenty of competition for him.

English midfielders Harry Winks, Dele Alli and Oliver Skipp could be moved on, while Tanguy Ndombele doesn't appear to be a central part of Conte's plans due to his lackadaisical style.

Could Dele Alli leave Tottenham?
© ProShots - Could Dele Alli leave Tottenham?


As always, the forwards will receive the most transfer headlines and that is the case with Tottenham as a huge number of them have been linked with a January move.

A transfer for another Juve player has been speculated, with Dejan Kulusevski wanted by Conte.

After Romelu Lukaku conducted an astonishing interview in which he expressed regret at joining Chelsea, Spurs were linked with an unlikely move for the Belgian, but now that he has apologised, that deal won't happen. It was never going to happen.

In the unlikely event that Harry Kane leaves, Spurs are targeting Dusan Vlahovic as a replacement, but it isn't outwith the realms of possibility that the Serbian is brought in to play alongside Kane and Heung-min Son in a front three or a two with Kane.