Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy may be forced into a transfer strategy rehash after Bayer Leverkusen told them they would have to part with £34million to sign Piero Hincapie. Levy has only spent more than that amount on a player twice.
The north London club have already spent £30m this summer on Fraser Forster, Ivan Perisic and Yves Bissouma as manager Antonio Conte looks to mount a title charge next season. It has been widely reported that the Italian was looking for six signings this summer, and he will be over the moon with already securing half of those by mid-June.
But according to The Sun, his wait for a centre-back could burn on longer than desired after Bayern Leverkusen set a huge price tag on Hincapie in order to keep Spurs at bay. The report states that a £34m fee will be required to bring the German giants to the table.
The 20-year-old is seen as ideal for Conte’s plans as he is a left-sided centre-back, young and has room to improve in an energetic side. Attention supposedly turned to the Ecuadorian after Inter Milan’s Alessandro Bastoni turned Conte’s men down.
But he may also be looked past with Conte’s men having often refused to pay such huge transfer fees in the past. The Lilywhites have only paid over £34m twice in their history, paying £37m for defender Davinson Sanchez in 2017 and £54m for flop Tanguy Ndombele in 2019.
And for a player as inexperienced as Hincapie, it is unlikely that Levy will sanction a deal despite his top performances at the BayArena last season. Leverkusen manager Gerardo Seoane could not hide his delight at how quickly Hincapie had adapted to his squad.
“We are positively surprised at how he has done so far – both nationally and internationally,” Seoane said. “In terms of potential, we knew that he would play well in the Bundesliga.