Jose Mourinho is thinking about bringing Mainz striker Jean-Philippe Mateta to Tottenham next season, according to reports.
Mateta has enjoyed a strong start to the season in the Bundesliga, scoring seven goals in his first eight games. He has also provided one assist, and has hat-tricks to his name in both the league and cup – including a 38-minute treble in his most recent appearance.
Only Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland have scored more goals than Mateta in the Bundesliga so far this season. He is in good company.
The 23-year-old was Mainz’s record signing when he joined them in 2018, and he has been repaying his price tag. He scored 14 goals from 36 games in his first season, before a quieter second campaign.
He is back in form now, though, and is averaging a goal every 88 minutes in the Bundesliga. It has put his name on the radar of several clubs.
According to Calciomercato, Tottenham could rival Napoli for his signature next summer.
Both clubs are on the hunt for reinforcements up front. Tottenham signed Carlos Vinicius – who was once owned by Napoli – on loan from Benfica this summer.
Vinicius has shown promise when he has played, but such opportunities have been rare. He is yet to start a Premier League game, and has only come off the bench once so far.
It is not yet clear if they will pursue a permanent deal for the 25-year-old. Therefore, Mourinho appears to be drawing up a list of alternatives.
Mateta, who was linked with Crystal Palace over the summer, would be a prime option if he continues his current form throughout the season.
Mainz open to sale
What’s more, Mainz may have no choice but to cash in on the striker, who represented France at under-19 and under-21 level.
Sporting director Rouven Schroder has admitted that there are plenty of options for Mateta, whom they have already rejected offers for in previous transfer windows. Now, they may be ready to let go of their number nine if the right offer arrives.
“A forward who is fit again and who has the perfect age is in demand despite the virus,” Schroder told BILD.
“[If an outrageous offer comes in] we would then need to sit down and discuss it. We rejected something last winter and in summer, too.”
However, Schroder did warn that Mateta’s focus is fully with Mainz at present.
The director added: “Him declaring that his goal is to score more goals than in his first year implies to me that he doesn’t want to leave either.”
Mateta remains under contract at Mainz until 2023, after signing a new contract there last year.