Tottenham are reportedly on the brink of reaching an agreement to secure the January signing of Ruslan Malinovskyi from Atalanta.
Antonio Conte has enjoyed a solid opening to the season with Spurs reaching the break for the World Cup sat in fourth. And while there are some question marks over the style of football, they are also through to the last 16 of the Champions League. As such, hopes are burning bright that the club could end their 15-year trophy wait this season.
In order to achieve that, or at least go deep into the Champions League and secure a top-four berth, Conte knows he will need to add to his squad.
Lessons can certainly be learned from last January when the additions of Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur provided the impetus for a late-season rally. Now Conte hopes that another successful winter window could have a similar affect on his squad.
To that end, director Fabio Paratici is reportedly using his extensive Serie A contacts to chase a number of deals. First up, they are chasing a long-standing interest in an Inter defender, with talks of a swap deal for a much-maligned Spurs man on the cards.
Conte also wants to add more beef to his midfield too. As such, Juventus star Weston McKennie is also seemingly on their radar.
And there is also reports that Marcus Thuram is also being looked at, amid claims a mouthwatering offer from Spurs has been lodged.
However, while all three signings are seemingly on their agenda, Malinovskyi looks like being the first deal over the line.
Indeed, Monday’s Euro Paper Talk revealed the Atalanta star is the top January target for Paratici and Conte.
Tottenham agree fee for Ruslan Malinovskyi
The Ukranian star – capped 51 times by his country – has long been one of Atalanta’s leading lights. Indeed, he scored eight times and added 12 assists last season during an excellent campaign.
A key player for Gian Piero Gasperini, his deal is due to expire at the end of the season.
Understandably, Gasperini would prefer to retain his services until the summer. However, Atalanta are not flush for cash and are open to his sale in January. Indeed, their club chiefs are desperate to avoid losing the 29-year-old as a free agent.
Now, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Paratici is to hold talks with Atalanta over the transfer. Furthermore, the Italian paper reports that a fee, believed to be in the region of £15.6m (€18m).
Other clubs, including some of Atalanta’s Serie A rivals, are also lurking for Malinovskyi’s signature. However, the paper reports that Tottenham are in ‘pole position’ for his signature.
Should they get the deal done, the capture of the attacking midfielder will offer Conte a new exciting option over the second half of the season.
Conte is well blessed for attackers, while his central midfield department is also well stocked. But Malinovskyi is a player who can break between the lines and add goals and assists from midfield. That is an area Tottenham have lacked in ever since they had Dele Alli at the top of his game.
And while a different player to Dele, Malinovskyi looks well suited to make an impact in the Premier League.
And at just shy of £16m, the 29-year-old looks another astute signing for Conte and Paratici.