Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham close to seeing back of unwanted flop, with £30m midfield deal taking shape

Tottenham stars Giovani Lo Celso, Bryan Gil, Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane

Giovani Lo Celso, Bryan Gil, Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane represent Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur might be able to sell Tanguy Ndombele to Napoli on a permanent basis without the need for further negotiating, it has been revealed.

Ndombele is spending the 2022-23 season on loan in Serie A after failing to find a place in Antonio Conte’s plans. Indeed, the midfielder largely struggled to live up to expectations since a club-record transfer to Tottenham from Lyon in 2019.

Lyon took him back for six months on loan last season, before he opted for a new challenge in Italy. Things have been going fairly well since, with Napoli going into the World Cup break as Serie A leaders.

Ndombele has played in 13 of their 15 league matches so far this season, including six starts. There have also been five appearances (of which two were starts) for him in the Champions League.

As things stand, Ndombele is due to return to Tottenham in July. However, it has now emerged that he could become a permanent Napoli player instead.

According to Football Insider, not only do Napoli have an option to buy the Frenchman, but they might be obliged to buy him if they finish in the top four again.

With the way their season has been going so far, that looks possible – and even probable. Luciano Spalletti’s side remain unbeaten domestically and already have an 11-point cushion in the Champions League places.

Hence, they might have to buy Ndombele, for a fee that the report claims is in the region of £30million.

Spurs would be making a loss by letting him go for that figure, but it might be as good as they are going to get. Indeed, when loaning him to Lyon before, they inserted an option to buy at the same value as their original investment of €65million, which never made sense for the French side to activate.

Ndombele deal would be a chance to move forwards

Getting £30million for Ndombele will be better than nothing – in fact, it is higher than previous estimates – and seems more feasible. As soon as Napoli get over the line for finishing in the top four, Tottenham can expect a financial windfall.

In turn, they might be able to reinvest. As long as Conte remains in charge, there will be a demand for more signings. Even Ndombele’s position of midfield could be strengthened with other names.

As for the 25-year-old himself, it looks like Napoli will continue to be his home. Some degree of certainty after the last year or so will not be unwelcome for him.

He will hope to build up more regular gametime than he is currently getting in Naples. But being part of an ambitious and in-form squad will surely be something worth preserving.

And if he is staying at Napoli because they will have qualified for the Champions League, then that should continue to be the case.

There will be many reasons behind his struggles to make the grade at Tottenham. But Ndombele is still at a good age to revive his career. Therefore, it could soon be a case of him looking forward with Napoli, rather than back at Tottenham.

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