David Hytner, Fabrizio Romano, Andy Hunter and Jacob Steinberg on 25 June 2019
Tottenham have made a club record £55m (€62m) bid for the Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombélé and are confident of closing a deal for one of the most exciting young talents in Europe.
Mauricio Pochettino has made the 22-year-old France international his prime summer target as he seeks new impetus at the club after spending five years in charge, and negotiations with Lyon are at an advanced stage.
The French club were holding out for €75m for Ndombélé, who possesses a rare blend of skill and power, and Spurs had previously indicated that they valued him at €50m. But in a move that stands to delight Pochettino, they have pushed hard towards a compromise fee. They believe that the numbers will be acceptable to Lyon while they also feel that Ndombélé wants to join them.
Spurs’s current transfer record is the £42m that they paid to take the central defender Davinson Sánchez from Ajax in the summer of 2017. They will propose a five-year contract to Ndombélé.
Pochettino has been keen to strengthen in midfield, having lost Mousa Dembélé to the Chinese club Guangzhou R&F last January and with Christian Eriksen agitating for a move, it is thought that he would like to sign more than one player in the position. Spurs have held talks with the representatives of Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo and Ajax’s Donny van de Beek but a deal for either is not thought to be close.
It is Ndombélé that Pochettino covets and he has told Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, that he is precisely the kind of player that the club ought to be signing.
Pochettino does not consider his squad to be a particularly young one any more and Ndombélé, who would become his first signing since that of Lucas Moura from Paris St-Germain in January 2018, would bring fresh dynamism.
Funds remain tight at the club as Levy balances the repayments on the new stadium project, although the team’s unexpected run to the Champions League final did bring a windfall.
Eriksen remains a key part of the summer puzzle and his potential sale would help to balance the books. Real Madrid have shown an interest in the Dane.
Ndombélé, capped six times by France, has been monitored by a clutch of leading clubs including Real, Manchester City and the Italian champions Juventus. Spurs sense a coup.
André Gomes has said it was an “easy decision” to join Everton permanently after completing his move from Barcelona for £22m plus add-ons.
The Portugal international signed a five-year contract with Everton on Tuesday having enjoyed a successful season on loan with Marco Silva’s side. West Ham United were also interested in the midfielder but the 25-year-old made it clear to the Spanish champions that he was set on a return to Goodison Park, where his career was revived following a difficult time at the Camp Nou.
Gomes’ fee could eventually reach £25m with bonus payments. Securing the former Benfica and Valencia player on a permanent basis this summer was a priority for manager Silva, who also wants to sign Kurt Zouma for the long-term following the Chelsea defender’s successful loan spell.
Everton’s new signing said: “It was an easy decision and I’m very happy to have made it. I know the club made a massive effort to sign me and I’m very happy and thankful to them. I said during the year that I felt part of a family and that is the most important thing to me.”
Meanwhile West Ham are pondering whether to step up their interest in Salomón Rondón after having an opening bid of £10m for the West Bromwich Albion striker rejected.
Manuel Pellegrini is an admirer of the Venezuelan after working with him at Málaga and he hopes to use the news that Benítez is set to leave Newcastle to his advantage.
Pellegrini wants a new striker after releasing Andy Carroll on a free transfer and selling Lucas Pérez to Alavés. West Ham have had a £25m bid for Celta Vigo’s Maxi Gomez turned down and fear missing out on the Uruguayan to Valencia, who can offer the striker Champions League football. The London club will move for both Gomez and Róndon if they can sell Javier Hernández, who earns £140,000 a week.
A deal for Rondon, whose contract contains a £16.5m release clause, could be easier to pull off given that West Brom, who have just appointed the former West Ham manager Slaven Bilic, missed out on promotion to the Premier League last season.