Reports in the Daily Mail yesterday suggest that Arsenal and Tottenham could be set to battle each other for the transfer of English and Everton defender Michael Keane.
Both North London clubs reportedly had representatives watching the England international during Everton’s 2-0 win at West Ham – a match which they cruised from start to finish. The Toffee’s bought the 26-year-old from Burnley for a fee of £25m rising to £30m yet it’s believed that Everton could demand at least £50m for the Manchester United academy graduates signature.
Keane impressed during the recent international break and was crucial in both of England’s 5-0 and 5-1 victories, even managing a goal away at Montenegro which was his first goal for his country. The Stockport born defender has made 115 appearances in the Premier League notching up three goals and 29 clean sheets. He also has a tackle success of 74% whilst making almost 800 clearances in the league.
His ability to play out from the back and his presence in the air from corners is beginning to receive attention and with both Spurs and Arsenal believed to be in the hunt for a centre-back in the summer, Keane could be the perfect addition.
Unai Emery stated in January that adding to his centre backs would be a ‘good option’ and with the futures of both Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen in doubt at Spurs, they are also expected to be in the market for a centre back. The fact Keane is English is a great bonus for both sides and could be an incentive to lure the player to North London due to the home-grown player rule yet both Arsenal and Tottenham may be put off by the price tag yet time will tell on this move.