Tottenham learn of heightened Japhet Tanganga interest from one suitor in two-way battle after agent meeting

Tottenham centre-back Japhet Tanganga

Japhet Tanganga is awaiting developments from AC Milan amid a growing threat from AS Roma in the battle for the Tottenham Hotspur defender, according to reports.

Serie A seems likely to be the next destination for Tanganga if he leaves Tottenham this summer. The defender could be surplus to requirements after the addition of Clement Lenglet on loan.

Italian champions AC Milan have long been looking at him as a potential reinforcement to their title-winning squad. However, as noted in an update from Calciomercato, they are only willing to sign a centre-back on loan this summer.

It remains to be seen what terms Tanganga – or their alternative target, PSG’s Abdou Diallo – would be available on. His contract with Tottenham is due to expire in 2025.

But it is becoming increasingly clear that Milan are not the only suitors for Tanganga. He has also been linked on a fairly frequent basis with Jose Mourinho’s Roma.

It has been a busy summer transfer window in the Italian capital. One area they have not invested in, though, is centre-back – even though they only have four senior options for what was a back three last season.

According to Calciomercato, Tanganga is waiting for any signs from Milan about their interest, after a lack of progress in recent weeks.

In the meantime, Roma have begun to look into the feasibility of taking Tanganga. For now, though, he is a backup plan for them, behind another defender Mourinho has worked with before – Manchester United’s Eric Bailly, who has other suitors too.

Roma meeting could suggest serious interest

However, the Europa Conference League winners are keeping their options open. Tanganga is on their shortlist, and his Italian representative has actually been in Rome to meet with the Giallorossi’s general manager Tiago Pinto.

Milan reportedly do remain in contention for Tanganga. But it is becoming clear that there may be something behind the links with Roma.

Coincidentally, Tottenham have been trying to sign attacker Nicolo Zaniolo from the side from the Italian capital. Their first offer has fallen pretty substantially short.

It remains unclear if the inclusion of Tanganga could help reduce the distance, or if it would be a separate deal.

Tanganga not guaranteed minutes at either destination

Despite the temptation of developing himself abroad, it is not easy to see Tanganga immediately starting at either destination.

Milan play with a back four, so there are only two centre-back places up for grabs. Fikayo Tomori has nailed one of them down since his move from Chelsea. But Tanganga wouldn’t be guaranteed to follow suit as an Englishman playing at San Siro.

Pierre Kalulu was a regular partner for Tomori last season, while Milan can also call on Simon Kjaer again this term.

Hence, there is a gap in the squad for another defender, but not necessarily one who will start regularly.

Meanwhile, Roma’s defence is led by the impressive Chris Smalling – another Englishman abroad. They relied heavily on Gianluca Mancini – their vice-captain – and Roger Ibanez either side of him last season.

Both have their question marks, but so does Tanganga. At the age of 23, he needs a regular spell of football somewhere to prove himself.

Whether that will be in Italy – and where – is about to become clearer in the coming weeks. It will then be over to Tanganga to prove any doubters wrong and hope for a new lease of life.

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