Tottenham have been told to expect sub-par performances from an exit-linked star who will likely push for a move in January.
Tottenham presided over a wholly successful transfer window that saw the arrival of five new first-team faces. But perhaps their greatest piece of business was retaining the services of Harry Kane.
The England captain emerged as a contender to be Man City’s long-term replacement for club icon Sergio Aguero. Tottenham were predictably firm in negotiations, ultimately seeing off Man City’s advances – much to Pep Guardiola’s dismay.
Keeping Kane can only be deemed a positive for Spurs, though the striker was not the only wantaway star that remained in North London.
French midfielder Tanguy Ndombele emerged as a surprise target for Juventus amid talk of a swap deal for Weston McKennie. Ndombele – Tottenham’s record signing at £53.8m – reportedly asked to leave the club after being snubbed in both pre-season and the new campaign’s early contests.
A deal failed to materialise after Spurs did not receive an offer they deemed suitable. That has left Ndombele facing an uphill struggle to force his way back into Nuno Espirito Santo’s plans.
But according to former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips, Ndombele will have little desire to even try. Instead, Phillips thinks the midfielder will “float about” before attempting to “force a move” in January.
“He made it very clear that he wanted to leave the football club,” Phillips told Football Insider.
“Is he the sort of player who will now knuckle down and play? He has come back from criticism before but I think this is different. I cannot see a way back.
“It is difficult to win over the manager and the supporters when you have made it clear you want to leave.
“But at some point he may have to play depending on injuries and suspensions. He will have to be professional. It is as simple as that.
“I get the impression that he is not going to push himself to really perform though. I think he will float about until January and then try and force a move again.”
Tottenham plans at PSG’s mercy
Meanwhile, PSG could scupper Tottenham’s plans to sign a new striker in either January or next summer, if Kylian Mbappe eventually joins Real Madrid.
Spurs targeted Inter Milan frontman Lauturo Martinez during the summer transfer window. However, reports on Sunday claimed that Mauricio Pochettino’s side are weighing up their own move for the Argentine as a potential successor to Mbappe.
Martinez is one of a number of forwards the LaLiga giants are looking at. Veteran Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski and Borussia Dortmund hotshot Erling Haaland are also on their radar.
However, despite continued links with other clubs, Calciomercato claims that Martinez is ready to sign a new deal at Inter.
The 24-year-old could be close to extending his contract until 2026. His salary is expected to be ramped up from €2.7million (£2.3m) to €6.2m (£5.3m) in a huge leap.