Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham aiming to annoy Mourinho after renewing interest in Roma midfielder

Borja Mayoral Roma

Tottenham have reportedly renewed their interest in signing defensive midfielder Ebrima Darboe from Jose Mourinho’s Roma.

Spurs are known to have been monitoring the 20-year-old since turning to Antonio Conte to replace Nuno Espirito Santo back in early November. Indeed, the Italian is said to have informed sporting director Fabio Paratici to keep tabs on Darboe over the course of the last couple of months.

The Gambia midfielder has only made one Serie A start this season. But despite that, Mourinho is known to be a big admirer of the talented midfielder.

The report from 90min has confirmed Tottenham’s interest. However, it claims that a summer deal is more likely one happening during January.

Mourinho is currently hunting a top-four spot with Roma and is not interested in weakening his squad this month.

However, Darboe, who is currently away with Gambia at the Africa Cup on Nations, could be tempted by a switch to London later in the year – especially if his game time remains limited in Rome.

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Kessie deal remains in the balance

Meanwhile, a Tottenham deal for Franck Kessie that looks even more appealing after a recent incident could go either way, and the ongoing uncertainty is causing anger at AC Milan, per a report.

Spurs struggled all across the pitch at times during their nervy 3-1 FA Cup victory over Morecambe on Sunday. Club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele was in the spotlight, and became a lightning rod for criticism after reacting poorly to his substitution.

He came off for Oliver Skipp after 69 minutes to a chorus of boos from the home fans. Their dissatisfaction stemmed from Ndombele leaving the field slowly while Spurs were 1-0 down.

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Today’s Paper Talk suggested that could be the final act for Ndombele in a Tottenham shirt. If true, a potential free agent acquisition of Franck Kessie would assume greater importance.

The 25-year-old has developed into a fine all-round player at the San Siro. Kessie’s contract expires in the summer, and predictably, interest has been widespread.

Spurs are one of a number of clubs chasing his signature and have reportedly already seen a swap offer rebuffed.

A more likely scenario is the signing of a pre-contract agreement that would see Kessie move on a free.

Tottenham match two Kessie offers

Now, according to Sport Witness, Tottenham are well placed to land Kessie after reportedly lodging the same salary offer as Milan and PSG. Per the article, the decision over Kessie’s future now solely rests with the player.

Citing Italian journalist Sandro Sabatini, Spurs have offered a post-tax salary of 6.5m.

Sabatini is quoted as saying: “If the agent has gone around the seven churches and it seems that there is no offer higher than that of Milan, Tottenham or PSG, possibly the 6.5 million euros per year is the fair valuation for the player.”

Working in Tottenham’s favour could be the lure of guaranteed first-team football. Kessie would likely slot straight into the starting eleven alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, thus bumping Skipp to the bench. His chances of being a regular starter at PSG given their expensively-assembled squad are slimmer.

READ MORE: First Conte signing nears as Tottenham agree demands and ‘convince star’ into change of position