AC Milan have been back in contact with Tottenham regarding a transfer for Japhet Tanganga, according to a report, as the transfer window deadline closes in.
The Serie A side registered their interest in Tanganga earlier in the summer. The Rossoneri were keen to conclude a loan deal, but a transfer did not materialise. Now Milan have returned to the table and are keen to accelerate a deal.
Tanganga’s future under Antonio Conte at Spurs looks bleak. He made just four starts for Conte last season in the Premier League before incurring a knee injury. And this term he was omitted from the squad against Southampton before being benched in the last two games.
Tanganga revealed Conte sees him primarily as a centre-back: “He sees me as one of the centre-backs, either right or left.”
But the addition of Clement Lenglet on loan has forced out the 23-year-old.
A combination of Eric Dier, Ben Davies, Davinson Sanchez and Cristian Romero have been used as the three at the back so far. And it looks as though Tanganga will be allowed to leave.
Milan are hunting for a replacement for Alessio Romagnoli, who moved to Lazio on a free transfer. And Calciomercato.com report that Milan have “restarted” talks with Spurs for Tanganga.
The Hackney-born defender, who can also play at right-back, brushed off the transfer talk last month.
“It’s just speculation and I don’t read too much into speculation. My focus is I’m just happy to be back, being injury free and helping the team as much as I can and be ready when I’m called upon,” he said.
Milan though are pushing for a loan deal, but they are not willing to accept the loan with the obligation of redemption set at €25m.
Milan coach Stefano Pioli would much prefer to take the player on a temporary transfer with the option of a permanent deal.
What does the future hold for Tanganga?
Talks between the parties are expected to continue. But there will have to be a softening in stance from one of the clubs.
If the report from Italy is to be believed then Conte and Fabio Paratici do not see a future for the player in north London. Conte though will be as good as his word and will want a replacement if Tanganga departs.
Conte said on Thursday: “We’re okay. But if someone goes away, for sure another player has to come.
“Especially if some players want to go to play regularly. It’s difficult to keep them here. But at the same time, it has to be very clear. That if a player wants to go play, I have to replace this player.”
It would be a bold move from Conte to cut Tanganga loose. The defender was called up from the academy to the first team in 2019/2020 under Jose Mourinho and showed plenty of promise.
Mourinho rated the player highly, although he conceded Tanganga needed to improve areas of his game. Interestingly the Portuguese boss said he was sure that “his best position in the future is right-back”.