Embarrassment for Tottenham loanee as club eyes free agent signing to replace him, with double rejection looming
The career downturn of Tanguy Ndombele looks set to continue as loan club Napoli are preparing to replace him with a free agent, according to a report.
Ndombele became Tottenham’s most expensive ever player when they paid Lyon £63million for him in July 2019. That came after the central midfielder had an exceptional season in France where he helped Lyon finish third in Ligue 1.
Big things were expected of Ndombele in England after Spurs spent so much money on him. But the 26-year-old never managed to consistently shine for the north London club.
As a result, he was loaned back to Lyon in January last year. He was hoping to impress in the second half of the campaign ahead of a proposed permanent move back to Lyon, which would have been worth £54m.
However, they ultimately rejected the chance to take Ndombele back on board. And this forced Spurs to find another solution last summer as they shipped him off to Serie A outfit Napoli.
He will spend the full 2022-23 season on loan with Napoli, while they have the option to sign him permanently for around £25m at the end of the campaign.
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Ndombele’s spell at Napoli has been similar to his time with Spurs. While he has shown flashes of his obvious talent, he has never done this consistently.
The Frenchman is not a regular in the Napoli starting eleven. In the last few weeks he has had to rely on late substitute appearances for game time.
Tottenham man hit with yet another rejection
Reports in Italy state Napoli will not be spending the necessary £25m to capture Ndombele on a long-term basis. And to make matters worse for the player, he is set to be replaced at the Italian club by a free agent.
As per Il Mattino, Napoli are looking into the potential signing of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud. The German will be available on a free transfer this summer as Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl has decided not to renew his contract.
Napoli believe it makes more sense to take a punt on a free agent in the form of Dahoud rather than spending £25m on Ndombele. And they could make a big profit in the future if Dahoud impresses for them and goes on to become a transfer target for some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Ndombele is now facing the prospect of being rejected by both Napoli and Spurs. He looks set to return to England this summer, but it is unlikely Spurs will want to keep him.
Another loan exit will probably occur, although Spurs may find it tough to find many interested clubs.
Spurs will have to take a big financial hit when they finally offload Ndombele, too. His price tag has fallen all the way from £63m to £25m. And it could fall even further, too. Other clubs will have seen Napoli refusing to pay £25m for him and will use this to save money when negotiating with Spurs.
Meanwhile, Spurs might be able to raid Jose Mourinho’s Roma for their vice-captain, according to a report.