Tottenham Hotspur are on the verge of acquiring the services of Mateo Musacchio from Villarreal, the La Liga club's coach Marcelino has hinted.
The North London club were reportedly interested in signing the 23-year-old Argentinean as Mauricio Pochettino is focussed on strengthening his back four. The former Southampton boss has already landed Sporting Lisbon's 20-year-old versatile defender Eric Dier and left back Ben Davies from Swansea City.
Musacchio made 32 league appearances helping the Yellow Submarines to qualify for the Europa League with a sixth place finish in the table. Marcelinho expressed his disappointment at having to lose one of his star performers from the previous campaign.
The Spaniard is said to be keen on signing one defender but now has to scour for another defender to replace Villarreal's 2013-14 Player of the Season.
"It's a situation with three parties: the player, the buyer and the club in the middle and, as I have said many times, if the club sell an important player it's because the right conditions to do so have been met," Goal.com quoted Marcelinho as saying.
"Mateo is a very important player for Villarreal. He's an excellent player and will be a difficult loss to cover, especially as he plays in a tough position to reinforce. Things will change quite a lot [for this team]. The quality and level of [Musacchio] will make it difficult to find a replacement."
"It's always more complicated to adapt the team to a new defender than to a forward or midfielder [and] it's not easy, at this level, to find a new defender. It won't be easy [to replace him] but the solution, for better or worse, will be found soon," the 48-year-old concluded.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror claims that Spurs are in advanced talks and have already agreed a £17m fee to make Musacchio their fourth summer signing in the ongoing transfer window.
The White Hart Lane outfit have offered the Argentinean a five-year contract and Pochettinho believes his compatriot will realise his potential in the Premier League.
The 42-year-old could clear out one or two defenders from his roster to accommodate the new recruits. Younes Kaboul has been linked with a move to Serie A's Lazio while skipper Michael Dawson is considered surplus to requirements for the upcoming campaign.