Jose Mourinho is to be backed to the tune of £120million in a bid to add pace and youth to Tottenham‘s defence this summer.
According to the Express, the Portuguese manager has a list of targets, including Benfica’s Ruben Dias, ready ahead of the summer transfer window.
Strengthening Spurs’ backline did not take priority in January and so it is the summer when Mourinho is expected to try and reduce the age of the defence with Norwich’s Max Aarons, Bournemouth‘s Nathan Ake and Leicester City‘s Ben Chilwell all under consideration.
Jose Mourinho is ‘ready to spend big in the summer’ in a bid to overhaul Tottenham’s defence
Benfica defender and Portugal international Ruben Dias is reported to be a summer target
Dias has previously attracted attention from Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool and remains highly regarded following his performances in Portugal.
At the age of just 22, Dias fits the profile of player Mourinho appears to be searching for this summer as he looks to add even more youth to his defensive options.
A potential issue for suitors of Dias, including Tottenham, is that he penned a new deal with Benfica back in November, raising his buy-out clause to £80m.
Norwich City full-back Max Aarons, 20, would add pace and youth to Tottenham’s options
The hope for Tottenham and Mourinho is that the manager’s close relationship with Jorge Mendes, the agent of Dias, could prove beneficial in any move.
Dias has 16 caps for the Portuguese national team and is expected to be a key part of Fernando Santos’ side for the European Championships this summer.
Mourinho already has 19-year-old Ryan Sessegnon and 20-year-old Japhet Tanganga as part of his first team squad but reportedly wants even more youth at his disposal.
The emphasis on improving the defence is highlighted when it is considered that Jan Vertonghen is out of contract in the summer.
At 32, Vertonghen brings experience having been at the club for eight years but given the centre back has yet to be offered fresh terms for an extension, it appears Mourinho and Tottenham will move forward without him next season.
Danny Rose, 29, has already been sent to Newcastle on loan and a new-look defence is expected to be moulded in Mourinho’s image for 2020-21.
Jan Vertonghen (right) is 32 and his contract with the club is to expire at the end of the season
There were suggestions on Monday that Mourinho regretted taking the Tottenham job but those insinuations were soon dismissed by the former Manchester United boss.
‘Contrary to some people who want to be in the news and tell things that are not true, I am really happy at the club,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘You know me quite well, enough to know that I am really happy. Difficult? Yes, but if it was not difficult it wouldn’t be for me.
‘I like the players and who they are. I like very much the relationship I have with them. If you see a bad face from me it is because of a bad result. I cannot change myself.
‘That’s just me. The reality is that I am happy and I look forward to what is coming, and even more for what is coming next season. I want to start working with them in July.’