Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

New life breathed into Tottenham deal with Napoli, but agreed price requires serious adjustment first

Tottenham loanee Tanguy Ndombele playing for Napoli

A deal between Tottenham and Napoli that looked in serious jeopardy has been given a sizeable boost by manager Luciano Spalletti, though the price tag involved ‘must be rediscussed’, per reports.

Spurs have more than their fair share of recognised first-team players currently out on loan. The likes of Sergio Reguilon, Joe Rodon, Harry Winks, Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso were all turfed out last summer. When the winter window deadline rolled around, loan exits for Djed Spence and Bryan Gil had followed.

Of that seven-strong list, Ndombele is likely to conclude the current campaign with a league winner’s medal.

The maverick Frenchman joined Napoli in a season-long loan and the Italian side currently hold a massive 18-point advantage in Serie A.

Ndombele’s deal contained an option to buy worth €30m (approx. £26.5m), though whether it’ll be triggered remains to be seen.

Indeed, the fine form of Piotr Zielinski and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa has severely restricted Ndombele’s game-time. The 26-year-old – who cost Tottenham £55.45m back in 2019 – has racked up just six Serie A starts this term.

His lack of action is more a case of those ahead of him performing so well, rather than Ndombele performing badly.

Indeed, despite accruing just 589 minutes in Italy’s top flight, he’s been called upon to appear in 24 of Napoli’s 26 league matches by manager Luciano Spalletti.

Italian outlet Il Mattino previously reported Napoli have little to no chance of signing Ndombele outright this summer.

They could afford the €30m option at a push, though are unlikely to sanction a purchase of that size for a player who isn’t a regular starter.

However, speaking to Il Mio Napoli, Spalletti recently confirmed he plans to give Ndombele far more regular minutes than he’s been getting of late.

Spalletti spoke highly of Ndombele, hailing his strength, technique and ability to shed his marker in one-v-ones.

Spalletti also reiterated Ndombele has always been in his mind and his overall lack of action is simply down to having other midfielders in red-hot form.

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Spalletti breathes new life into Tottenham deal

“I agree, in the sense that he (Ndombele) is a strong player and only the quality that Zielinski and Anguissa have shown in this period has not allowed him to play that much,” said Spalletti.

“He has strength, technique, he manages to get rid of his marker in one on ones, and the last few times I put him in, he was always ready.

“I’m considering using him. You read my mind.”

Clearly, Ndombele is a player Spalletti rates highly. If the Frenchman does perform well in the coming weeks and months, he’ll do his chances of convincing Napoli to sign him outright a world of good.

In all likelihood, that would be welcome news back in north London. Multiple managers have been unable to prise the best out of Ndombele who clearly possesses the talent, though harnessing it has been the true challenge.

Il Mattino stated earlier in March any permanent move to Napoli would require the pre-agreed €30m option to be readjusted. In other words, Napoli want it lowered before pulling the trigger.

Despite looking certain to incur a huge loss on the £55.45m they paid, Spurs may be wise to listen to what Napoli have to say.

Ndombele seemingly has no future in north London and even a reduced £20m price tag, for example, would greatly aid Tottenham’s own recruitment drive over the summer.

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