Spurs ahead of Liverpool for Senegal star as agent blasts Lazio

Date published: Thursday 17th August 2017 1:25 - James Marshment

Tottenham have reportedly shot to the front of the queue to sign Keita Balde after the player’s agent Roberto Calenda said the forward had been left “exasperated” by Lazio’s actions.

The Senegal frontman has been linked with Tottenham, Liverpool, Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan this summer with his contract at the Stadio Olimpico due to expire next summer.

But after the player was left out of Lazio’s squad for the Super Cup win against Juventus last week, Calenda says the player now wishes to leave the club.

In a frank interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Calenda says Balde has been left angered by that decision, and that Lazio could lose the player for “free”, amid heightening reports the player has leapt to the top of Mauricio Pochettino’s transfer wishlist at Spurs.

“He’s exasperated by behaviour from the club which he is no longer willing to put up with,” Calenda said.

“There have even been offensive comments written on the walls at Formello, clearly fuelling the misleading remarks with which Lazio are managing the whole issue.

“While president [Claudio] Lotito talks about selling him, he values Keita like a top player – only when he offers him a new contract, he rates him like a normal player.

“Lazio continue to ask the Earth for a player who, in a few months, will be free to walk away for nothing.

“If they continue to pull on the string, then this is only going to snap and they are going to have to explain to their fans how they managed to lose a talented player like Keita for free.

“Now he’s 22, which is the right age for a player to start to earn the first benefits of his talent and dedication.

“Despite the results, Lazio have never demonstrated that they believe in him and to have the project for him that he deserves.

“A while ago, I wrote to ask for a meeting, but I never even got a reply. It’s a kind of relationship that I am not used to.”

Blade has also been mentioned as a possible target for Liverpool if they lose Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, but it is thought Jurgen Klopp will focus on other priorities.

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