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Tottenham 'accelerate pursuit of new midfielder after Rodrigo Bentancur injury'

Tottenham 'accelerate pursuit of new midfielder after Rodrigo Bentancur injury'
© Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur reportedly step up their pursuit of a new midfielder in the January transfer window following Rodrigo Bentancur's ankle injury.

Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly stepping up their pursuit of a new midfielder in the January transfer window following Rodrigo Bentancur's ankle injury.

The Uruguay international - who was a key cog in Antonio Conte's system - spent over eight months recuperating from the crushing ACL problem he sustained against Leicester City in February.

During his absence, Pape Sarr and Yves Bissouma - both of whom were overlooked by Conte - ignited their Tottenham careers under Ange Postecoglou, but the Australian's first-choice midfield duo have both been missing at points in recent weeks.

Bissouma was recently forced to serve two suspensions, one for his sending-off against Luton Town and one for accumulating five yellow cards, while Sarr returned from Senegal duty this month with an unspecified injury.

With both men unavailable for the showdown with Aston Villa last weekend, Bentancur made his first start since his ACL injury last season, but the South American's afternoon was cruelly cut short by an ankle issue.

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Ange Postecoglou pictured on November 6, 2023© Reuters

Postecoglou has confirmed that Bentancur is facing another couple of months on the sidelines with his fresh problem, and it also remains unclear how long Sarr's affliction will take to clear up.

With James Maddison also out until 2024 with his own ankle issue, Spurs only have Bissouma, Oliver Skipp, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Giovani Lo Celso as their central options for Sunday's clash with champions Manchester City.

Spurs were already being tipped to bolster their engine room in January, when Sarr and Bissouma are also due to jet off to the Africa Cup of Nations, and a report from Football Insider claims that the Lilywhites will now intensify their efforts to bring in engine room reinforcements.

The North London giants are said to have held internal talks over midfield additions over the past few days, and a move for Manchester City outcast Kalvin Phillips has been strongly mooted.

The former Leeds United man has endured a forgettable spell at the Etihad since joining the champions in 2022, and all parties are believed to be keen on ending his stint with Pep Guardiola's side in January, as Phillips endeavours to boost his chances of a Euro 2024 call-up.

Manchester City's Kalvin Phillips during the warm up before the match on October 29, 2023© Reuters

A couple of existing Tottenham midfielders have also been linked with exits midway through the season, with Hojbjerg believed to be on Juventus' shortlist of potential Paul Pogba replacements.

Meanwhile, Barcelona are supposedly not giving up hope of a deal for Lo Celso, but the Argentine is in no hurry to leave Tottenham, as he will enjoy a run of starts during Maddison's time in the treatment room.

Spurs should not trim their engine room further without signing at least one replacement over the winter, and Postecoglou's side are also rumoured to be after a new winger and centre-back next month.

The Lilywhites have been bumped down to sixth in the Premier League table ahead of Sunday's showdown with Man City, where they will be at risk of suffering four successive Premier League losses for the first time since 2004.

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Tottenham Hotspur's Giovani Lo Celso during the warm up before the match on July 26, 2023
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2Manchester CityMan City26185359263359
4Aston Villa26164656352152
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs25145652381447
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd26142103636044
7Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2610974941839
8Newcastle UnitedNewcastle26114115445937
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham2510693644-836
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves25105103940-135
13Crystal Palace2677123144-1328
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2666143448-1424
18Luton TownLuton2555153551-1620
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2534182265-4313

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