Tottenham Hotspur have joined the race for an Atletico Madrid midfielder months after letting the La Liga side have Sergio Reguilon and Matt Doherty, according to a report.
Full-backs Reguilon and Doherty left Spurs in the summer and winter respectively, with the former heading out on loan and the latter going on a free transfer. In the summer, though, there could be a transfer in the opposite direction.
According to the latest from Inter Live, Tottenham are among the many admirers of Atletico midfielder, Rodrigo De Paul.
The Italian website has mentioned their interest because the player is also on the radar of Inter, as well as their cross-city rivals AC Milan and fellow Serie A sides Juventus and Roma.
But Spurs could be contenders to bring De Paul to the Premier League instead. Per the report – which isn’t the first to link Tottenham with the player – they will be a more established choice for the World Cup winner than Aston Villa, Brentford or Everton.
In Tuesday’s Euro Transfer Gossip, De Paul was also linked with a move to Liverpool, though there is no mention of them by Inter Live.
Liverpool were said to be willing to almost match Atletico’s original investment in the former Udinese talent. Their potential offer would therefore come close to the £35million mark.
According to Inter Live, though, Atletico are willing to accept a fee closer to £26m, which may even come as a purchase option after a loan arrangement.
Levy drives Tottenham interest in Rodrigo De Paul
Tottenham, of course, are without a head coach and sporting director at present, after they sacked Antonio Conte and saw Fabio Paratici become banned. But they could press ahead with interest in De Paul regardless.
The report suggests their interest stems from chairman Daniel Levy. He supposedly wants to add De Paul to the midfield that the next Spurs coach will be inheriting.
It has become an area for them to reinforce after Rodrigo Bentancur suffered a serious injury. The former Juventus man won’t be seen on the pitch again until next season.
Yves Bissouma is also currently on the sidelines, which has exposed a lack of depth in the Tottenham midfield. As a fairly versatile option, De Paul would be able to replenish their depth.
Now 28 years old, he has encountered some ups and downs during his time with Atletico. But the fact that he started the World Cup final in December should serve as a reminder of his pedigree.
Therefore, a deal in the region of £26m should appeal to a club like Tottenham, who are fighting for European qualification again for next season.
There are other clubs on Spurs’ tail, though, so their status in UEFA competition is no guarantee. Still, they should be a more attractive destination for De Paul than Villa, Brentford or Everton would be.