‘Spurs need Umtiti if Vertonghen is leaving’ – Barcelona defender ‘would be a great signing’, says Robinson

Tottenham have been tipped to replace a prized asset with a French centre-back who currently plies his trade at Camp Nou

Tottenham “need” to bring in Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti if Jan Vertonghen completes a move away from the club this summer, according to Paul Robinson.

Vertonghen has spent the last eight years of his career with Spurs, racking up 311 appearances across all competitions in total.

The Belgian has helped Spurs establish themselves as top-four regulars and Champions League finalists during that period, while forging a solid partnership with fellow countryman Toby Alderweireld at the back.

However, the 33-year-old has not been a guaranteed starter since Jose Mourinho’s arrival as head coach in November, and as it stands, he will become a free agent at the end of June.

Vertonghen admitted during an interview with Play Sports Kot last week that he wants to learn another language, while citing Spain and Italy as possible next destinations.

Robinson, who played between the sticks for Tottenham between 2004 and 2008, thinks the veteran centre-back “has always had it in his mind to leave” and says he has looked “disheartened” on a number of occasions in 2019-20.

The ex-Spurs goalkeeper would like to see his old club target Umtiti should Vertonghen indeed move onto pastures new, insisting the Barca star “would be a great signing” for his old club.

“Umtiti is what they need.” Robinson told Football Insider.

“Vertonghen has not been himself. Whether it has been the contract, but it looks like he has always had it in mind to leave.

“He has looked disheartened at times, you could see it in his body language. He has not been himself.

“Someone like Umtiti, who is only 26, would be ideal if Vertonghen is leaving.

“If he does leave it is a position they will have to look at. I suspect they will strengthen with more than one but Umtiti fits the bill. He would be a great signing.”

Tottenham have been linked with Umtiti in recent months, but it has also been reported that Arsenal hold a firm interest in the Frenchman ahead of the summer transfer window.

It is not yet known when the transfer market will open with the season still on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, FIFA has suggested that the window could be extended to allow clubs more time to conclude any potential deals.