Tottenham Hotspur set to pip Liverpool to a striker Arne Slot loves

In what will be a bitter blow just days into Arne Slot's reign as Liverpool manager, it would appear that Tottenham Hotspur are poised to secure the signature of Feyenoord striker Santiago Gimenez.

The 23-year-old Mexican forward, who flourished under Slot's guidance in Rotterdam, is reportedly considering a move to North London amid the potential exit of Richarlison, despite interest from the Reds and Italian giants AC Milan.

According to TEAMTalk, any transfer fee will need to be higher than the Dutch league's record transfer, Antony's move from Ajax to Manchester United worth £81.3 million in 2022.

The same report also suggests that the allure of London has played a significant role in Gimenez’s decision-making process.

Slot had told Liverpool about Gimenez

Gimenez scored an impressive 49 goals in 86 appearances for Feyenoord and was instrumental in the team’s second-place Eredivisie finish and KNVB Cup victory last season. Despite Feyenoord's early exits from the Champions League and Europa League, Gimenez’s performances were widely praised.

Slot, who was Gimenez's manager during this time, reportedly had discussions with the Reds’ hierarchy regarding the striker.

According to Caught Offside, the Dutchman highlighted, among others, Gimenez's potential to excel in the Premier League.

In the same vein, midfielder Teun Koopmeiners of Atalanta and Benfica’s Orkun Kokcu, both of whom played pivotal roles in Slot's former teams, have also been linked targets.

Teun Koopmeiners, Liverpool Transfer target

Foto Spada/LaPresse 17 Febbraio 2024 - Bergamo , Italia - calcio - Atalanta vs Sassuolo - Campionato italiano di calcio Serie A TIM 2023/2024 - Stadio Gewiss. Nella foto: Teun Koopmeiners Atalanta BC esultanza dopo gol 1-0 February 17 , 2024 Bergamo , Italy - sport, calcio - Atalanta vs Sassuolo - Serie A Football Championship 2023/2024 - Gewiss Stadium . In the pic : Teun Koopmeiners Atalanta BC celebrates after scoring 2-0 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxITAxFRAxCHN Copyright: xSpada/LaPressex

Liverpool prioritising defensive reinforcements

Despite Slot's obvious admiration for Gimenez, it is believed that Liverpool didn't pursue a deal at this time because the club has bigger priorities this summer window.

With Joel Matip having left on a free transfer, Liverpool are set to prioritise defensive recruitments.

In central defence, in particular, Slot's options are quite limited. The Reds finished the season with Jarell Quansah as the established partner to captain Virgil van Dijk, with Ibrahima Konate's drop-off in form earning him a spot on the bench for the final fixtures.

Joe Gomez, meanwhile, has rarely played in the middle in recent seasons, having been converted into an inverted full-back and, at times, a holding midfielder.

As a result, at least two defenders are expected to be bought this summer, with Nottingham Forest's Murillo repeatedly linked and a deal for Feyenoord's Lutsharel Geertruida looking quite likely too for the right-hand side.

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