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Tottenham Transfer News: Spurs keen on Japanese right-back

ANALYST
Rumors
425   //    10 Jun 2019, 23:36 IST

Hiroki Sakai in action for Japan recently
Hiroki Sakai in action for Japan recently

What is the story?

Reports from reliable English news outlet Sky Sports have claimed that Champions League finalists Tottenham are monitoring Marseille's Japanese right-back Hiroki Sakai.

They are yet to make a formal offer for the 29-year-old, although they are eager to strengthen their side over the summer months to close the gap between themselves and many of Europe's heavyweights after an unpredictable season across all competitions.

In case you didn't know...

Despite gaining unexpected success among Europe's elite, Tottenham endured another trophyless campaign this past season. The Lilywhites played and lost their first Champions League final 2-0 against league rivals Liverpool in Madrid on June 1.

Leaving those disappointing memories in the past, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino will be eager to achieve something big from the upcoming campaign. However, things are not going to be easy for the Argentinian mastermind as a few of his key players are expected to leave the club in the next few months.

Serge Aurier, who signed in 2017 from Ligue 1 champions PSG, has struggled with long-term injury issues in recent months and could be set for a departure. Kieran Trippier's inconsistent form was also an unwelcome headache for Pochettino, with a lucrative move to Italy seemingly on the cards for the Englishman - who endured a tough season after a personal high in last summer's World Cup.

The heart of the matter

According to Sky Sports, Spurs are keeping tabs on Sakai - who enjoyed a decent campaign in Marseille colours. He won 70% of tackles contested per game while averaging 82% pass accuracy in 27 Ligue 1 appearances.

As per recent reports, Pochettino is looking to improve both fullback positions and will be prepared to listen to offers for the aforementioned duo should suitable offers arrive for them this summer.  

What's next?

Spurs are expected to spend considerable amounts of money to sign quality players this summer. Should recent speculation prove true, they are favourites to capture Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso and Sakai could soon follow, provided there are departures to accommodate his presence in north London. Tottenham will play their first pre-season friendly on July 21, against Serie A champions Juventus.

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