Tottenham in ‘advanced’ talks to beat Man Utd, Chelsea for midfield talent

Pape Sarr, Metz

Tottenham Hotspur are in “advanced” negotiations over the possible signing of Metz midfielder Pape Matar Sarr, according to reports in France.

Sarr became a Metz first-team player last season, establishing himself as one of Ligue 1’s bright young talents. The teenager made 22 appearances in the French top flight and has already added another two this term. But his immediate future may lie away from France.

The 18-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League, where a number of clubs have been interested. For example, Aston Villa were said to be leading the race, before teams with European football on offer muscled in.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Metz’s president would fly to England to discuss Sarr with Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City.

But in something of a twist, it is now Tottenham who look the likeliest to sign the one-cap Senegal international.

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According to RMC Sport, talks are ongoing between Tottenham, Metz and Sarr over the player’s transfer. In fact, these discussions are at an “advanced” stage, even though “nothing has been done” at this stage.

RMC claim the transfer would be worth more than €10m and it is “almost completed”. Metz have been looking to make an urgent sale to appease the organisation that oversees French clubs’ finances, the DNCG.

Therefore, Sarr’s entourage have returned to the north-eastern French city so they can complete the transfer.

Pablo Sarabia tackling Pape Matar Sarr

The news is confirmed by Get French Football News, who estimate Metz’s preferred valuation of Sarr at €20m. Tottenham could meet that asking price in bonuses.

In another development, they add that Metz would like to take Sarr back on loan for the 2021-22 season after any transfer to Tottenham goes through.

Spurs will need another midfielder if Tanguy Ndombele leaves the club, as expected to do so. However, they are targeting Nahitan Nandez in that regard and may be looking at Sarr for the future.

New managing director Fabio Paratici has already shown a willingness to invest in youth by bringing in Sevilla youngster Bryan Gil this summer. Sarr may be the next young gem he goes for, even if their plan for him may not be as immediate in terms of a first-team role.

Nuno ‘completely honest’ over Ndombele

Tottenham’s engine room could be undergoing a transformation, with Ndombele looking likely to leave.

The midfielder arrived in north London in the summer of 2019 as a marquee Mauricio Pochettino signing. However, he has struggled to make his mark ever since. Indeed, four months into his stay, Jose Mourinho entered the dugout and Ndombele endured a mixed run under the Portuguese.

Still, he fared better than he is doing now. Ndomeble did not play a minute in pre-season and has not featured at all since Nuno took over from Mourinho.

Asked about the Frenchman in his latest press conference, the manager said: “I can be completely honest with you, Tanguy is not going to be involved in the squad on Sunday.”

While Nuno did not divulge the reasons for his absence, Ndombele has reportedly asked to leave.

But it seems Tottenham are already working on a number of reinforcements in that role for the present and the future.

READ MORE – Euro Paper Talk: Nuno makes demand to Tottenham over new budget buy