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Tottenham midfield target signs with Lyon

Pape Chiekh Diop is heading to Ligue 1 after Spurs dropped their interest in the Celta Vigo midfielder.

Granada CF v RC Celta de Vigo - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

One of Tottenham’s former transfer targets is moving to Ligue 1 instead. Celta Vigo announced today that 19 year old Senegalese-born Spanish international Pape Chiekh Diop is moving to Lyon after the two sides agreed to a €10m transfer.

Spurs had apparently been interested in signing Diop, who is promising but unproven, earlier in the month, but had cooled their interest in recent weeks. He only played 600 minutes of first team football but Mauricio Pochettino thought he could develop Diop into a first-team ready central midfielder for Spurs.

Instead, it’s possible that Pochettino sees Spurs youngster Tashan Oakley-Boothe as filling the role that Diop meant to fill as a future No. 8. Oakley-Boothe made the bench in Victor Wanyama’s absence in Sunday’s draw to Burnley, and while he didn’t take the field it’s an obvious sign of confidence in his abilities.

At any rate, we’ll have to see what happens to Diop. If the pattern holds true, he may explode in Ligue 1 and we’ll see his future transfer fee balloon to €40m from €10m (see: Dembele, Moussa).