Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has revealed he doesn’t plan to retire with the club. The 32-year-old, in an interview with France Football, explained his interest in playing in Major League Soccer before he retires.
The France No.1 is a divisive player but has been a mainstay in the Spurs team for eight seasons. It will not be easy for Tottenham to replace the Frenchman but it’s something they’re going to have to address sooner rather than later.
Lloris' current contract expires in 2022 by which point he’ll be 35. While keepers generally play on for longer, it’s hard to imagine the 113-cap France international starting for Spurs at that age. He could even be moved on at the end of the current campaign while he still has value.
Goalkeepers were previously undervalued but the fees it takes to sign them are now in line with the rest of the market and have been since the summer of 2018 when Alisson and Kepa Arrizabalaga moved to the Premier League.
Both shot-stoppers cost in excess of £60million while David De Gea has since signed a new deal with Manchester United to make him the best-paid player in the English top flight.
Signing a new No.1 can be a costly process. Daniel Levy is a shrewd operator in the transfer market but will have to bite the bullet and perhaps break the club-record fee if he’s to ensure Spurs don’t suffer after losing the Frenchman.
Here, we take a look at possible targets for the beaten Champions League finalists.
First up is the Lazio shot-stopper. Linked with a move away from the Stadio Olimpico for the best part of two seasons, it's a matter of when and not if he eventually departs.
The Serie A side are believed to want in excess of £35million for the 24-year-old. According to reports, Spurs have shown an interest in the Albanian previously so you can expect the club to be fully aware of what he offers as a goalkeeper.
Strakosha's shot-stopping is – at times – unorthodox and he isn't the most convincing. But the 6ft 3ins keeper gets the job done and playing for Spurs should mean he isn't as busy as he is for Lazio. He conceded 46 goals last term, on par with his expected goals against total and seven more than Tottenham.
There’s enough to suggest if Strakosha is nurtured properly he could become an imposing and reliable figure between the sticks. Not only that, he’s comfortable with the ball at his feet, an important trait to have for any goalkeeper lining up for Spurs.
When it seemed De Gea wouldn't put pen to paper on a new deal with United, it was Ajax keeper Onana who topped their wishlist, according to The Independent.
That alone is enough to highlight just how good the 23-year-old is.
Believed to be available for £40million, Onana has the ability and the potential to make the No.1 jersey at Spurs his own for the next decade. He may lack experience at the very top but he produced a string of eye-catching saves during the Dutch club’s shock run to the Champions League semi-finals last season.
The Cameroon international boasts razor-sharp reflexes and astute distribution, the latter often launching counter-attacks for the Eredivisie giants. He's explosively quick and would be ideal for a team looking to play a high line. In this post-VAR world, someone with that skill set could be very handy to have.
Spurs have a history of shopping in the Dutch capital and seem to have a good relationship with Ajax, one they could leverage to sign Onana ahead of other clubs.
Tipped to be a star from a young age, Football Manager alerted the masses to Lafont. The 20-year-old made over 100 appearances for Toulouse before a €7million move to Fiorentina in the summer of 2018.
It didn't work out in Florence as planned and he's currently on loan back in Ligue 1 with Nantes. Lafont has started all five games this season and has conceded just three goals.
To the surprise of many, Nantes find themselves in third position and just two points off of leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
Lafont comes with a lot of experience despite having only turned 20 in January. The heir to Lloris for France, Lafont gives off a De Gea vibe due to his tendency to save with his feet.
Adept with the ball, he could be an effective weapon to add to the Spurs arsenal. His distribution would make the most of the pace the Spurs have in their forward line.