Tottenham and Inter Milan are in discussions over a surprise deal to take Tanguy Ndombele to the San Siro after Ange Postecoglou saw two other exit paths for the wantaway midfielder grind to a halt.
The French midfielder, 26, still to this day remains Tottenham’s record signing, having cost £54m from Lyon back in the summer of 2019. Unfortunately, the seven-times capped Les Bleus star has rarely shown the sort of form that convinced Daniel Levy to spend big on him four summers ago.
Indeed, with two years left on his deal, it seems Ndombele is set for yet another loan move away from north London, having spent last season with Napoli also on loan.
The Italians will become the latest home for the midfield star, who has also spent time back at former club Lyon back in the 2021/22 season.
In an ideal world, Tottenham would love to offload the midfielder, whose displays have failed to win over a string of Spurs bosses.
Indeed, Levy thought he had found that answer last summer when Napoli agreed to sign Ndombele with an option to buy. However, the Italians let that option lapse, despite Ndombele featuring 40 times as they claimed a first Serie A title in 33 years.
Over this summer, though, Spurs believed they had found permanent suitors for the star, albeit for a vastly-reduced fee. First up, Turkish champions Galatasaray were reportedly looking on course to land Ndombele after holding a series of talks.
However, with talks breaking down over the failure to agree on a permanent sale option, another Serie A side in Genoa then entered talks over the possibility of signing Ndombele on loan.
Ndombele heading for Inter Milan move
That move, however, has also broken down in the last 24 hours with Ndombele rejecting the move to the Italian side.
However, it seems their failure may have stemmed amid late interest in his signing from Inter Milan. And according to the Daily Mail, Simone Inzaghi’s side are looking to reinforce their midfield options with Ndombele emerging as a prime late window candidate.
Inzaghi reportedly has doubts over the reliability of Stefano Senisi, so wants Ndombele brought in to provide cover and competition.
And given they can offer the player Champions League football, they are seen as the far more attractive option for his signing.
As a result, talks are now at the advanced stage over a deal to take Ndombele to the San Siro on an initial season-long loan.
Tottenham will hope to include an obligation to make the move permanent next summer, though the 2022 Italian champions would prefer an arrangement that gives them an option to buy.
Understandably, Levy is keen to secure a guaranteed sale given the way Napoli backed out this summer. However, it is Inter who hold all the aces and it is likely an arrangement will be done more on their terms.
Postecoglou expecting Ndombele exit at Spurs
Postecoglou admits he expects Ndombele’s situation to soon be clarified.
Speaking earlier this week, he stated: “Tanguy is in a boat with a few other guys. I said the other day that we’ve got five or six players more than we can name on a list.
“All these things come down to decisions that people make, whether it’s individual players, whether it’s myself.
“I’m sure this week those kind of things will work themselves out. Tanguy’s still training, he’s working hard at training, but that midfield area, we’re going really well at the minute.
“You saw the guys who started, (Oliver) Skippy’s been really good, Pierre (Hojbjerg) and Gio (Lo Celso) have been training well.
“It’s been pretty competitive in that area. I think this week a lot of those things I expect to get resolved.”
Since signing for Tottenham, the divisive midfielder has made 91 appearances for the club, scoring 10 goals and assisting with eight more. And while not a bad record, his all-round work-rate and suitability for the Premier League has been questioned by a series of Tottenham bosses, who have all struggled to get a tune out of the star.
Now Spurs will hope their club-record signing has played for the club for a final time with a deal to take him to Inter to be sealed before the window closes at 11pm on Friday.