LONDON - Tottenham Hotspur have targeted Valencia right back Joao Cancelo as they look to make their first signing of the summer.
Juventus are keen on Cancelo and the Serie A champions are prepared to pay £25million for the 23-year-old to replace Dani Alves.
But Spurs have emerged as rivals to sign Cancelo ahead of Juventus, who they beat 2-0 in a friendly at Wembley on Saturday. Tottenham sent scouts to watch Cancelo play for Portugal in Poland in June and manager Mauricio Pochettino is eager to recruit him.
If the ankle injury that Kieran Trippier sustained on Saturday proves serious, then Pochettino would be faced with starting the new season with Kyle Walker-Peters as his only recognised right back.
Tottenham have plans to make other signings before the transfer deadline at the end of this month, with Everton midfielder Ross Barkley on Pochettino’s wanted list. Spurs are also monitoring Burnley striker Andre Gray as a potential candidate to add depth to their attack.
Meamwhile, Jurgen Klopp has banned talk of the Champions League to ensure Liverpool are not distracted for the opening of the new Premier League campaign.
Though Liverpool begin the League season at Watford on Saturday, the focus on Merseyside is on the play-off with Hoffenheim, the first leg of which is three days later.
"We go to Watford and I don’t know what we could do there to disappoint," said Klopp, the manager, whose side beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1 at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. "You can’t measure the importance of it.
"Some things could happen that we can’t avoid but we could leave players behind and they could slip in the kitchen. You can’t do this (prioritise). Maybe Watford will think we don’t have that mind-set. It’s my job to make sure it does not happen."
Ronald Koeman has confirmed Everton are "close" to signing Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea, who want £50million for the midfielder. Koeman said after Everton’s 2-2 friendly draw with Sevilla on Sunday. "It is close but we have to wait. The deal isn’t done."
Aaron Lennon was not in the squad and has been linked with Watford but Koeman insisted: "He was not fit to play."