Tottenham step up pursuit of Ajax’s Davinson Sánchez
Pochettino confident of bringing the Colombian defender to White Hart Lane
Davinson Sanchez, right, could be bound for the Premier League and Tottenham. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Tottenham have opened talks with Ajax over the transfer of Davinson Sánchez, with Mauricio Pochettino increasingly confident of signing him after the Colombia defender informed the Dutch side that he wants to move to White Hart Lane.
Having sold Kyle Walker to Manchester City for a fee that could reach €55m, Pochettino has been searching for reinforcements to his squad and identified the 21-year-old as the perfect player to complement Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen in his back three.
Over the weekend Tottenham held preliminary talks with Ajax, who signed Sánchez from the Colombian side Atlético Nacional for €5m last summer, although the Dutch club have so far insisted he is not for sale.
However, with Sánchez understood to have been impressed with Pochettino’s plans for him after a breakthrough season at Ajax in which he helped them reach the Europa League final, a source close to the player has admitted he has his heart set on moving to north London despite late interest from Chelsea.
Tottenham officials are believed to have travelled to Amsterdam on Monday to continue negotiations, with Ajax holding out for a fee close to €40m given that Sánchez still has four years of his contract to run. Spurs are expected to offer an initial €30m with significant add-ons as they attempt step up their recruitment drive after a summer that has yet to see any new arrivals.
There is also serious interest in the Celta Vigo midfielder Pape Cheikh, who is available for around €10m and is wanted by Pochettino to add competition in central midfield. Born in Senegal, the 20-year-old has represented Spain at several youth levels and was part of the side which won the European Under-19 Championships in 2015.
Any potential move for Ross Barkley could depend on the completion of that deal, with Tottenham so far not prepared to pay Everton’s asking price of €33m. The England midfielder is in the final year of his contract at Goodison Park having refused to sign a new deal worth €110,000 a week.