Tottenham boss Antonio Conte ‘requests’ Daniel Levy buy Piero Hincapie

Premier League returns: Tottenham's mid-season review

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Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has reportedly ‘requested’ that Daniel Levy sign Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapie. The left-sided centre-back has been linked with a host of clubs including Chelsea in recent weeks and now Spurs have joined the race with the Italian keen for the 20-year-old to join Cristian Romero in his backline. 

Hincapie has become one of the most sought-after defenders in world football following his performances for Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. He also attracted attention after his early displays for Ecuador at the World Cup but he was left disappointed as his nation was knocked out in the group stages, giving away a crucial penalty in the deciding match against Senegal. 

However, the minor blip has not deterred his suitors and the player has been linked with a host of clubs in recent weeks. Chelsea have been said to hold a strong interest in his services as they search for a cheaper alternative to Josko Gvardiol but could now face competition from their London rivals. 

Italian publication Tutto Mercato Web reports that Conte has asked Levy to sign Hincapie as he seeks to add to his defensive options. The Italian is a big fan of the centre-half and is believed to be working alongside Fabio Paratici on a deal for the player with an approach mooted for January or the summer. 

Signing Hincapie over the winter transfer window would mark something of a U-turn from Conte after his comments following his side’s 2-2 draw with Brentford on Boxing Day. The 53-year-old suggested the side did not require new defenders with the return to fitness of Japhet Tanganga. 

Spurs’ leaky backline has been costing the side badly in recent matches with the club conceding first in each of their last nine games, giving Harry Kane and co a mountain to climb to recover the three points. 

“No, about the defenders,” Conte said after being asked if he would add to his back three. “I think now we have recovered also Japhet Tanganga. It was his first game this season. He struggled a lot with his knee. You know now that he needs a bit of time to grow into the game, but I’m pleased for him to play a game today.

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“Then at central defender I think we are good. We have to continue to work, to work. Cuti Romero comes back tomorrow in the training session. I repeat in one side I am a bit disappointed this season because we have conceded many goals. In the other side I think that we are scoring many goals, creating chances and to attack with many players.”

It remains to be seen whether or not Hincapie will make the move to north London but Tottenham fans will be desperate to see someone arrive given their defensive struggles. 

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