Premier League title challengers Tottenham Hotspur are set to enter the race to sign Burnley defender Michael Keane in the summer, which could pave way for Manchester United to make a move for Spurs ace Eric Dier, as per the reports from Daily Telegraph.
The former Manchester United man has been heavily linked with a move away from Turf Moor, with Everton and Liverpool also among the interested parties. And with his contract set to expire in a year, the club seem to have resigned to losing their star performer ahead of the next season.
United too have expressed interest in bringing back Keane to Old Trafford, after having sold him to the Clarets for £2 million two years ago. But it has been reported that the Red Devils’ manager Jose Mourinho remains more keen in signing Dier from the North Londoners instead.
Tottenham, however, have no intention of losing any of their stars in the summer, especially with the new stadium construction going on, but Mourinho sees an opportunity for a deal if Keane moves to the White Hart Lane.
Mauricio Pochettino is targeting versatile players to strengthen his options for the upcoming campaign and sees the 24-year old centre-back as an ideal fit considering that Keane played comfortably on the right-side of a back-three system for England earlier this month, as well as playing in a back four.
Having targeted wide players like Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace and Bruma of Galatasaray, Pochettino has identified defence as another area where he can improve his squad upon, more so after seeing Kevin Wimmer struggle this season.
Dier has predominantly played on the right side of the three-man backline for the Lilywhites this season, after having played as a central midfielder for good parts of the last term. That position has been occupied by summer signing Victor Wanyama this time around.
However, the 23-year old got a chance to showcase his skills in the middle of the park when Wanyama was out injured in recent weeks and he did not disappoint. Dier, on his part, is happy with life at Tottenham, but sees his future in the game as a midfielder – a position which Jose Mourinho is willing to offer him, with veteran midfielder Michael Carrick set to leave.
The 23-year old has established himself as the first-choice central midfielder in the England National Team setup as well. However, Pochettino has failed to give the player any assurance over his position in the line-up.
Last month, Pochettino said:
“We provided all the tools [for Dier] to be a Premier League player. My first game in charge against West Ham, he started as a centre-back, next to [Younes] Kaboul. Kyle Naughton got a red card, he moved to full-back and scored.
“That season, he played like a full back, like a centre back but never as a midfielder. Then in the summer, we were looking for a midfielder and we had plenty of options (to buy one), but I decided to play Eric in midfield.
“Then we signed Wanyama and played both, but we had some injuries like Toby [Alderweireld] and Jan [Vertonghen], and Eric was the perfect player to play as a centre back. That is a good thing for the player, the possibility to play in different positions and do well in everyone.”
It is believed that United are willing to offer £40 million in order to sign Dier and Keane is expected to cost somewhere around £30 million if Tottenham are to pursue their interest in him.