Opinion: Spurs must beat West Ham to 26-year-old who is better than Skriniar

Tottenham Hotspur fans are holding out hope that the club can sign a new central defender before the transfer window closes on Monday night, with The Guardian among reputable sources that state Inter Milan enforcer Milan Skriniar is a major target.

However, a new transfer rumour in Corriere Torino has suggested West Ham United are leading the race for Juventus and Italy centre-half Daniele Rugani.

While Skriniar would be an impressive acquisition for Tottenham, he is a key man at Inter and will likely cost a considerable sum to tempt to North London.

With Rugani seemingly surplus to requirements at Juventus and West Ham in the pole position to sign him according to the Italian press, Spurs should make a move to usurp their local rivals and land the Italy international over the weekend.

The 26-year-old has been on the Turin giants’ books since 2013 and played a role in the side’s dominance of Italian football – without ever being a mainstay.

Tottenham could offer Rugani regular first-team football, the chance to play in Europe (West Ham cannot) and the opportunity to be part of an exciting new project in North London.

Spurs fans would be happy if a deal for Skriniar can be completed in the next few days, but looking at Rugani as an alternative would be a sensible move for the Lilywhites.

The Juve enforcer is just as good and better than Skriniar and signing him ahead of West Ham would be the cherry on the cake for Tottenham supporters.