Barcelona plotting Tottenham raid made viable by first Conte transfer act
Barcelona are seeking to sign a Tottenham star in January in a move that will be made viable if Antonio Conte lands his first target, claims a report.
Conte, 52, took the reins at Tottenham on Tuesday after former boss Nuno Espirito Santo was dismissed after just 10 league games in charge. Conte brings with him a winning mentality and elite coaching acumen. However, even the best managers still need financial backing more often than not.
As such, Conte was recently reported to have handed sporting director Fabio Paratici a four-man wish-list of transfer targets.
On that list was AC Milan’s midfield enforcer, Franck Kessie.
The Ivory Coast international is in the final year of his contract at the San Siro. Today’s Paper Talk revealed the latest on the mooted move, and it made for positive reading for Tottenham fans.
Kessie could sign a pre-contract agreement in January ahead of a free agent move next summer. If that scenario unfolds, Goal (citing Spanish publication SPORT), suggest Tanguy Ndombele would become expendable.
The Frenchman, 24, has never lived up to his club record £55.45m fee since arriving from Lyon in 2019.
That won’t stop Barcelona from making a swoop, however, quite the contrary. Indeed, the Spanish outlet state Ndombele had been on their radar over the summer after failing to land Georginio Wijnaldum on a free.
Antonio Conte already lining up Spurs' first January signing
Antonio Conte is reportedly already lining up Spurs' first January signing in the form of Inter Milan centre-half Stefan de Vrij, with more news on Spurs' transfer budget, Matthijs de Ligt and Federico Chiesa.
The physicality Ndombele would provide is attarctive to the club. Though whether expected new boss Xavi is a fan is as yet unknown.
Nonetheless, it’s noted a January loan deal could be sanctioned, leading to a permanent transfer in the summer. The dire status of Barcelona’s finances will prevent a permanent deal any sooner.
Also on Barca’s radar is Monchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria and Marseille’s Boubakar Kamara. But it is their interest in Ndombele that will be one to keep an eye on for Spurs fans in a move that will become increasingly viable if Kessie joins Conte in north London.
Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and Ousmane Dembele star in our 2022 free transfer XI
True Kane feelings on Conte appointment emerge
Meanwhile, Paul Merson has predicted Antonio Conte will face losing Harry Kane in January. Though the striker’s thoughts on the new Tottenham appointment will give their fans plenty of hope.
Kane has looked a shell of his former self this season and Merson thinks City will bid again in January in fear of falling even further behind table-toppers Chelsea.
“Man City are in danger of falling behind Chelsea at the moment,” wrote Merson in his Sky Sports column. “This is the problem Nuno had, and Conte has the same issue with Kane.”
Man City have failed to score in six of their 16 matches across all competitions this season. Kane would no doubt help remedy that issue, but the Sun have revealed Kane’s thoughts on the Conte appointment that make excellent reading for Spurs fans.
The newspaper claim that Kane is ‘ready to abandon all plans to quit Tottenham’ following Conte’s arrival.
He reportedly believes the Italian can help his quest to lift major honours finally succeed. Kane is also not alone in welcoming the appointment. The article stated ‘the rest of the squad’ feel ‘delighted’ with the change.
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