Tottenham have agreed a deal worth around £25m to sign Yves Bissouma from Brighton, with the midfielder set to undergo a medical at Spurs on Thursday.
The 25-year-old has just one year left on his Brighton deal but will now become Tottenham’s third summer signing after goalkeeper Fraser Forster and Ivan Perisic joined earlier this month.
Arsenal, Aston Villa and Everton were among the other clubs interested in signing the Mali international this summer after Brighton turned down an offer from Aston Villa for Bissouma in the January transfer window.
Tottenham have been eyeing Bissouma since he played for Lille and had been on their target list to replace Moussa Dembele in 2018.
But Spurs eventually signed Tanguy Ndombele to a club-record deal from Lyon, while Bissouma joined Brighton for around £15m, where he shone after making 124 appearances for the Seagulls.
Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte was particularly impressed by Bissouma following his performances against Spurs last season.
Spurs in advanced talks to sign Spence
Tottenham are also in advanced talks to sign Djed Spence from Middlesbrough.
Spurs are among the frontrunners to sign the 21-year-old Spence, who helped Nottingham Forest to promotion to the Premier League while on loan last season.
Tottenham are eager to say goodbye to another competition to bolster the full-back position, and a decision on his future could be made in the coming days once he returns from England Under-21 duty.
The club is aware that it must add to its list of youth players.
What positions is Tottenham aiming for?
Sky Sports News’ Paul Gilmour:
Following the news that Tottenham have invested £150m in equity funding at the club, Spurs are clearly backing Antonio Conte in the transfer market this summer.
They have targeted various positions, including goalkeeper, centre-back, full-back, central midfielder and a striker. The Spurs have already completed two of their expected six or seven signings this summer in Ivan Perisic and Fraser Forster.
Conte wants more depth in the squad, and he also wants to add experienced players, a change from recent times when Spurs targeted younger players.
There are some in the club who feel it’s inaccurate that they didn’t spend in the past, but it is acknowledged that they weren’t always right in recruiting.
Fabio Paratici can’t do anything wrong at the club at the moment. The additions of Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski have given the impression that they are finally doing well in this area.
Extensive work is being done on player ability and character. Spurs recently turned down an opportunity to sign a talented Premier League player because their investigation highlighted concerns that he could be a disruptive influence.
What should Tottenham do this summer?
Declan Olley, football journalist for Sky Sports:
It’s shaping up to be an exciting summer for Tottenham with the club backing Conte as they look to revamp a squad that can challenge on all fronts next season.
New full-backs on the right and left will be a priority for the Italian, fundamental positions in his tactical system. Despite the upgrade under Conte, questions remain over right-backs Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty, so a move for Middlesbrough’s Djed Spence makes sense following his impressive loan spell at Nottingham Forest.
On the left flank, with Sergio Reguilón out of favor and heading for the exit door, it’s no surprise to see Spurs sign Ivan Perisic on a free transfer from Inter Milan to provide experienced competition to Ryan Sessegnon.
The 33-year-old Croatian’s move allows a large chunk of Tottenham’s money to be spent on a top quality central defender, with Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni the prime candidate for Conte and Paratici. His Inter teammate Milan Skriniar could also be on the shortlist as the club held talks with Inter over the Slovakian two years ago, while Villarreal’s Pau Torres is another who has previously been linked with the Tottenham.
Midfield has been a major issue for Spurs in recent seasons and the club should be looking to sign at least two new midfielders, most notably with Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Harry Winks all set to leave this summer.
The possible return of Christian Eriksen on a free transfer is a no-brainer and, like Perisic, profitable. But it would be a different story for Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse, who would probably prove too expensive, so it seems Conte and Paratici have settled on Brighton’s Yves Bissouma.
In attack, the future of Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura is uncertain, especially the Dutchman who has not made an impact since joining from PSV Eindhoven, so Spurs will need to bring in a forward player.
The forward three of Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Dejan Kulusevski are untouchable at the moment, so ideally the club needs to sign a versatile attacker who can fit into any of those positions when called upon.
Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus is certainly the striker Spurs could take advantage of by being linked to the Brazilian, but he is likely to want to leave the Premier League champions to become the star of another team.