Jose Mourinho has made contact with Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Tanguy Ndombele over a reunion at Roma, according to reports – but it is another Serie A side currently leading the race.
Ndombele is back in the limelight at Tottenham, but for all the wrong reasons. After being linked with an exit in the summer, now seems to be the ideal time for him to leave. He was booed off the pitch by some Spurs supporters when taken off against Morecambe at the weekend.
It has put his future into focus again. Indeed, Tottenham have never quite got what they expected from their club record signing since his 2019 move from Lyon. It may be in everyone’s best interests to separate.
Spurs are unlikely to be able to recoup a similar fee to the one they paid Lyon (£54m). Furthermore, a report earlier on Tuesday reminded that Ndombele’s high wages could prove problematic.
But it has now emerged that there are suitors chasing his signature – and one of them is led by a very familiar face.
According to Telefoot, Ndombele has been the subject of interest from Roma. In fact, ex-Tottenham boss Mourinho – now in charge in the Italian capital – has supposedly called Ndombele personally to find out about his situation.
The pair did not always see eye to eye during their time together in north London. But Ndombele did start to find a little bit of form before Mourinho’s exit in April 2021. Alas, it was not enough to make his Tottenham career a success.
The former Lyon midfielder could yet display his talents better elsewhere, and his former boss Mourinho must retain faith in him after all.
He wants to overhaul the midfield he inherited when taking the Roma job over the summer. Indeed, he has already signed Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan from Arsenal (but played him at right-back on debut). Roma are also about to add Sergio Oliveira from Porto.
Mourinho may still have further business on his mind. And in that regard, Ndombele is also under consideration.
Favourites emerge for Ndombele transfer
But according to Telefoot, the favourites for the 25-year-old are fellow Italian outfit Napoli.
They too have been evolving their midfield in recent months. They took Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa on loan from Fulham in the summer and his impact has been good.
Now, Napoli are believed to be leading the race for Ndombele as well.
Whether he ends up in Rome or Naples, Telefoot believe Ndombele would have to leave Tottenham on loan. Spurs would prefer a permanent sale, but that may be unlikely at this stage.
Still, a move away could help him resurrect his career (and, potentially, price tag).
Antonio Conte refused to divulge too much information about Ndombele at his most recent press conference on Tuesday.
Conte replied: “Honestly, I think it’s not right to speak about this type of situation.
“I think everyone is the owner of his gestures, you understand? I don’t like to speak about a player who is not in front of me, I do it in a private way. It’s not right.”
Tottenham take interest in Roma midfielder
Coincidentally, Spurs have been looking in Mourinho’s direction in their efforts to replace Ndombele.
Spurs have been monitoring the 20-year-old since turning to Antonio Conte to replace Nuno Espirito Santo back in early November. Indeed, the Italian has 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 a big admirer of the talented midfielder.
A report from 90min has confirmed Tottenham’s interest. However, it claims that a summer deal is more likely than one happening during January.
Darboe could be tempted by a switch to London later in the year – especially if his game time remains limited in Rome.
But Mourinho does not want to weaken his Roma squad this month. Therefore, he is likely to block any departure for Darboe.