Tottenham are being pulled further into the claims surrounding Tanguy Ndombele.
That’s either because Spurs are genuinely trying to sign the Lyon player, or that the French club’s president, and those around him and the footballer, are leaking stories to the media to try and talk up the value.
At the end of April Jean-Michel Aulas explained he had a preference to sell Ndombele to Juventus.
Speaking to Turin newspaper Tuttosport, he said: “It’s true [Juventus are interested]. But there’s also PSG, Manchester United and Manchester City.
“Honestly, I’d like to see Ndombele at Juventus with Pjanic, a player we helped developed at Lyon to whom we’re still linked. We’ll see what happens.”
At the time, some reports claimed Lyon were looking for €70-80m, whilst in Spain it was reported the Ligue 1 side valued their player at €100m.
Saturday’s edition of L’Equipe reported PSG are ‘active’ in pursuit of the player. They stated Juventus have made a ‘contractual offer’ to the 22 year old, and that Manchester United’s ‘position is known’, with it being thought the Red Devils are seeing what happens with Paul Pogba first.
The French newspaper said Manchester City have ‘resurfaced’, and added ‘do not neglect an outside: Tottenham’ – ‘The club of Daniel Levy, who had in the past sometimes cool relations with OL, is convinced by the profile of French. Mauricio Pochettino has more than validated the profile. Spurs, finalists of the Champions League, would be ready, despite their financial cautiousness in recent years, to offer a nice amount to Ndombele. Like Juve, a contractual proposal has been transmitted.’
Today Telefoot published an exclusive saying Tottenham are ‘best positioned’ to make the signing, with PSG and Juve ‘following the issue closely’. The midfielder ‘seems excited’ by the prospect of joining Spurs, and they’ve already ‘sent offers’.
They also quote Aulas, who spoke about the transfer again this weekend. Now, the club’s president is talking up a move to PSG, explaining it would be good if the best French players stayed in France.
Tottenham were repeatedly linked last summer, with it being claimed they’d made a verbal offer, which was rejected by Lyon.
The whole thing appears to be running in cycles, with the clubs involved taking it in turns to be in the lead. It could be that Lyon aren’t seeing the auction situation they hoped for, and are trying to encourage it.
On April 12th, L’Equipe reported concerns with the player’s approach. They said that whilst his talent is ‘undeniable’, that ‘contrasts’ with the 22 year old’s persona: ‘In his own way, he is the symbol of a talented Lyon youth, whose inconsistency is confusing.’
The player’s behaviour, and sometimes seeming like he’s not entirely bothered, had become a ‘topic’ at Lyon.
L’Equipe added: ‘It’s unanimous about Ndombele’s huge sporting potential. But not on his behaviour. Where some see it as a way of concealing a reserved nature, his attitude seems haughty to others. To the point of feeding a certain incomprehension. As at the reception of Guingamp (2-1, February 15th), where the Rhone staff remained perplexed by the left ankle pain mentioned by the player, despite reassuring medical exams.’