Villareal sign replacement for Tottenham defender target

Pochettino

La Liga outfit Villareal have signed Victor Ruiz on loan from Valencia leading to speculation he could replace Tottenham target Mateo Musacchio.

23-year-old Argentine centre back Mateo Musacchio has been linked with a move to Tottenham to join his elder countryman at White Hart Lane in Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

The River Plate academy graduate is now the subject of speculation over his future following Villareal’s signing of Victor Ruiz on loan from La Liga rivals Valencia.

Villareal already have the services of Chechu Dorado, Gabriel Paulista, and Pablo Iniguez which, combined with Musacchio and Ruiz now sees the club with five central defenders within their ranks and only two positions to start them in.

Reports suggest that despite the centre back’s €50 million release fee, he could be allowed to move to White Hart Lane for a fee of around €20 million (£15.9 million) as Pochettino looks to sure up his Spurs defence ahead of the new Premier League campaign starting in less than a week.

The 6ft tall centre back has been in Spain for five years since arriving to sign for Villareal’s B team in 2009 from River Plate in his homeland at the age of just 19. Since then, Musacchio has emerged as Villareal’s most highly regarded defender and exciting defensive prospect, still considered a young player.

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He has yet to be fully immersed at senior international level, having earned just two caps for Argentina since making his debut n 2011 but a move to the Premier League to work with one of his nation’s most well respected young coaches.

Playing alongside Erik Lamela could likely be enough to catch the eye on Argentina’s next national team coach who will be announced imminently, and widely expected to be former Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino.

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