LONDON • Inter Milan are preparing a bid of €15 million (S$22.5 million) plus add-ons for Christian Eriksen as they attempt to conclude a deal with Tottenham.
An offer of €10 million plus add-ons was rejected last week but the Italian Serie A side are confident their new bid will persuade the London club to part ways with the Danish midfielder after 61/2 years.
They have already agreed personal terms with the 27-year-old, who wants a new challenge, and he would be able to join them on a free transfer in the summer when his contract expires.
But Inter coach Antonio Conte is keen to bolster his attacking options immediately after falling four points behind league leaders Juventus, who have 51 points.
He is also trying to sign forwards Olivier Giroud and Victor Moses from Chelsea, having already acquired defender Ashley Young from Manchester United last week.
The Italian, who previously said that the club are targeting players who are at the end of their contracts during this window, has also hit back at Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho for "twisting his words".
"I no longer talk about the transfer market," Conte said. Mourinho had commented that managers should refrain from talking publicly about players from other clubs, even though he did not specifically mention Eriksen.
"The last time I did it, someone we all know twisted my words so I won't say anything anymore. Every time I say something, it always gets amplified or twisted."
The two managers exchanged tit-for-tat verbal blows when Mourinho was in charge of United and Conte was the Chelsea boss.
In 2017-18, Mourinho said he would never be "suspended for match-fixing", referring to Conte's four-month ban at Juventus for failing to report alleged match-fixing. In response, Conte called his counterpart a "little man".
Amid Eriksen's transfer speculation, Mourinho said he believed the Dane deserves to have some clarity about his future at Spurs.
"He needs Jan 31 to come and to be sure that he is going to stay until the end of the season or before Jan 31 to know that he is leaving," the Portuguese manager added.
His work on the pitch will resume today when Spurs host bottom side Norwich in the Premier League.
Tottenham, winless in their last four league games with two defeats, will need a win to boost their top-four ambitions.
But their home form remains superior, accounting for six of their eight league wins this term.
Despite a 0-0 draw at Watford last Saturday, defender Toby Alderweireld has urged his side to build on their strong defensive display.
"It was a good away performance at Watford. We didn't concede too many chances and we could have won," he told the Spurs website.
"Now we need to get three points against Norwich. If we work like this, the three points will follow."
Gedson Fernandes, the new loan signing from Benfica who came off the bench for his debut, could be handed his first league start, while Danny Rose and Tanguy Ndombele remain doubtful.
THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS
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