Tottenham have agreed a deal worth in the region of £25m to sign Brighton’s Yves Bissouma, with the midfielder set to undergo a medical at Spurs on Thursday.
The 25-year-old has only one year left on his Brighton contract 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 had been among the other clubs interested in signing the Mali international this summer after Brighton had rejected a bid from Aston Villa for Bissouma in the January transfer window.
Tottenham have been watching Bissouma since he played for Lille and he had been on their list of targets to replace Moussa Dembele in 2018.
But Spurs ultimately signed Tanguy Ndombele in a club-record deal from Lyon, while Bissouma joined Brighton for around £15m, where he has shone after making 124 appearances for the Seagulls.
Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte was particularly impressed by Bissouma following 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 front runners to sign 21-year-old Spence, who helped Nottingham Forest achieve promotion to the Premier League while on loan last season.
Tottenham are keen to see off other competition to bolster the wing-back position, and a decision on his future could come in the next few days once he returns from England Under-21 duty.
The club are aware they must add to their list of homegrown players.
Which positions are Tottenham targeting?
Sky Sports News’ Paul Gilmour:
Following the news that Tottenham have put in £150m of equity funds into the club, Spurs are clearly backing Antonio Conte in the transfer market this summer.
They have targeted several positions including goalkeeper, centre-back, wing-back, central midfielder and a striker. Spurs have already completed two of their expected six or seven 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 shift from recent times when Spurs targeted younger players.
There are some at the club who feel it’s inaccurate they didn’t spend in the past but there is an acknowledgment they didn’t always get recruitment right.
Fabio Paratici can do no wrong at the club currently. Additions of Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski have given belief that they are finally getting it right in this area.
Extensive homework is being carried out on player ability and character. Spurs recently rejected the chance to sign one talented Premier League player because their research highlighted concerns he could be a disruptive influence.
What should Tottenham do this summer?
Sky Sports football reporter Declan Olley:
It is shaping up 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.
New wing-backs on both the right and left sides will be a priority for the Italian, with those positions fundamental to his tactical system. Despite improvement under Conte, doubts still remain over right wing-backs Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty so a move for Middlesbrough’s Djed Spence makes sense following his impressive loan spell at Nottingham Forest.
On the left side, with Sergio Reguilon out of favor and heading towards the exit door, it is no surprise to see Spurs sign Ivan Perisic on a free transfer from Inter Milan to provide experienced competition for Ryan Sessegnon.
The move for the 33-year-old Croatian allows a large chunk of Tottenham’s money to be spent on a top-quality centre-back, with Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni appearing to be the early frontrunner for Conte and Paratici. Inter team-mate Milan Skriniar could also be on the shortlist, with the club having held talks with Inter over the Slovakian two years ago, while Villarreal’s Pau Torres is another that has previously 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, especially with Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Harry Winks all set to leave this summer.
The potential return of Christian Eriksen on a free transfer is a no-brainer and, like Perisic, is cost-effective. But it would be a different story for Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse, who would likely prove too expensive, so Conte and Paratici look like they have settled on Brighton’s Yves Bissouma.
In attack, the futures of Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura are uncertain, especially the Dutchman who has failed to make an impact since joining from PSV Eindhoven, so Spurs will need to bring in a forward player.
The front three of Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Dejan Kulusevski are untouchable right now so ideally the club need to sign a versatile attacker who can fit into any of those positions when called upon.
Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus is certainly the forward Spurs could do with having been linked to the Brazilian, but he is likely to want to leave the Premier League champions to become the star man at another team.