Barcelona are reportedly ready to gazump Tottenham’s bid to land their top central defensive target Cristian Romero from Atalanta this summer.
New Spurs sporting director Fabio Paratici made the Argentina star his top target, after Romero was crowned Serie A defender of the year while on loan at Atalanta from Juventus last season. The 23-year-old then followed that up by winning the Copa America with his country in Brazil.
Tottenham are said to have offered €40m plus up to €10m in bonuses to secure his signature, with Daniel Levy so far refusing to go higher.
However, that is still some way short of the €60m Atalanta want for the player, once they’ve signed him from Juventus for the agreed price of €12m.
The player himself is reported to have ordered the deal to be done quickly, with personal terms already agreed.
The need for Spurs to bring in another centre-back is even more paramount after Toby Alderweireld’s exit.
The Belgium star has joined Qatar side Al-Duhail on a deal rising to €13m. That money will go towards the Romero deal, but now Barca are ready to throw a spanner in the works.
“It’s been an honour to play for Spurs.”
🎥 Toby’s goodbye message. pic.twitter.com/AWWfJAZjcN
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) July 27, 2021
Sportitalia claims that the Nou Camp side are preparing to enter negotiations with their own bid.
The report adds that the Catalan giants have been watching Tottenham’s pursuit for some time and will make a formal bid in the next couple of days.
Bidding war suits Atalanta
If true, that’s great news for Atalanta, as a bidding war could drive Romero’s price up significantly.
The report does need to be taken with a pinch of salt, however, with Barcelona known to be struggling financially.
They managed to keep superstar Lionel Messi, but only after reducing his salary. Barca are also looking to do similar with more of their top stars to balance the books.
If anything these rumours could act as a wake-up call to Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to up his bid for a player Paratici rates very highly.