Tottenham emerge as surprise Ousmane Dembele contenders after Fabio Paratici intervention

In pictures: Southampton v Tottenham

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Tottenham could try to lure Barcelona ace Ousmane Dembele to north London as club chiefs attempt to build a squad which can compete for silverware. Dembele’s Barca contract expires next summer and he has been linked with a whole host of Europe’s top clubs.

Spurs appointed Antonio Conte as their new boss at the start of November following the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo.

And the north Londoners are unbeaten in the Premier League under the Italian after picking up 15 points from his seven games in charge.

Conte is set to turn his attentions to the January transfer window as he endeavours to bolster his ranks for the second half of the season.

And the 52-year-old could be tempted by Dembele if transfer chief Fabio Paratici can help the club secure a deal.

Paratici previously worked as sporting director of Juventus and tried to take Dembele to the Italian giants earlier in his career.

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According to Mundo Deportivo via Sport Witness, Spurs will ‘push hard’ to secure Dembele’s signature.

The winger has refused to put pen-to-paper on a new deal at the Nou Camp and has been linked with the likes of Juve and Paris Saint-Germain in recent weeks.

But apparently ‘everything indicates’ the player will instead opt for a move to England.

Manchester United and Newcastle are also thought to be interested in signing the winger as Premier League clubs look for reinforcements.

So Tottenham could have their work cut out to seal a deal.

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Dembele arrived at Barcelona in 2017 after the Catalans shelled out a staggering £135.5million for the attacker.

But he has since been struck by a string of injuries in Spain and has endured lengthy spells on the sidelines.

The player has suffered from a recurring hamstring problem, which kept him out for most of the 2019/20 season.

He has also had other fitness issues and, since arriving from Borussia Dortmund, has failed to live up to expectations when he has been available to play.

But Dembele is clearly a prodigious talent and has won 27 caps for France.

The 24-year-old was part of his country’s Euro 2020 squad as he came off the bench during France’s first two games of the tournament.

But he was forced back off the pitch in the second encounter against Hungary after sustaining a knee injury.

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The player then underwent surgery on his knee and missed the opening three months of this campaign.

He returned to action against Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League at the beginning of November and has started Barca’s last three La Liga games.

Tottenham certainly appear to face a battle to sign Dembele but, if they can persuade the Frenchman to make London his home, he could give Conte another mouthwatering attacking option as Spurs look to push for a place in the top four.

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