Dave Thompson/Associated Press
Tottenham Hotspur have entered the race to sign Burnley centre-back Michael Keane, which may increase the likelihood of Eric Dier transferring to Manchester United, per Matt Law for the Telegraph.
Keane, 24, has been outstanding throughout the 2016-17 Premier League season, earning him his first and second senior England caps—his debut coming in the 1-0 friendly defeat to Germany on March 22—and a PFA Young Player of the Year Award nomination:
#PFAawards | Men’s PFA Young Player of the Year nominee Michael Keane @BurnleyOfficial https://t.co/9zNDys8UuY
4/13/2017, 8:21:38 AM
Unsurprisingly, this has attracted the attention of some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs. Spurs reportedly join Everton and Liverpool in vying for his signature.
Mauricio Pochettino is attracted to Keane because he is a “versatile” footballer. The Burnley man played as part of a three-man defence for England against Germany, a tactic that mimics one of Spurs’ preferred models.
Spurs may even be fighting United for Keane, who left Old Trafford for Burnley permanently in 2015 for an undisclosed fee—he played for the Clarets on loan at the start of the 2014-15 campaign.
As noted by John Cross in the Mirror, Chelsea, United, Everton, Liverpool and Spurs will start a bidding war for the Englishman this summer.
Keane could end up being a straight replacement for Dier. According to Law, Jose Mourinho is “desperate” to sign the 23-year-old and is willing to lure Dier to Old Trafford with the promise of playing him in central midfield, which is his preferred position.
Pochettino has used Dier as a centre-back on 27 occasions in all competitions this season, per WhoScored.com.
Rui Vieira/Associated Press
Law reported United will splash £40 million on Dier, while Burnley will demand £30 million for star defender Keane.
United have struggled to find a consistent partner in central midfield for Paul Pogba, with Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick alternating in the more defensive position in Mourinho’s 4-3-3 formation. Dier’s positional awareness and defensive clout should would see him quickly become a regular in the starting 11 at Old Trafford.
Spurs fans will be praying they can keep hold of their main stars as they look to become one of the biggest forces in English football—but it won’t be easy. In their pursuit of Keane and the reported interest in Dier, it looks as though they will have to fight Mourinho and United on multiple fronts this summer.