Tottenham Hotspur have identified Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele as player who is high on their list to potentially replace Mousa Dembele in the center of midfield next season. However, the French midfielder is deciding his own fate, and it’s quite possible that he may choose to spend another season in Ligue 1.
In a wide ranging interview with Get French Football News, RMC journalist Loic Tanzi suggested that Ndombele might decide to sign a contract extension with Lyon to get an extra season of experience with Lyon, with the idea that he could leave for a bigger club next summer.
N’Dombélé’s case is one where he arrived from Amiens last season having not played in Ligue 1 before, so he has a contract that reflects that. He’s had a great breakthrough season, and he’s now one of the mainstays of the team, but he still has the contract of a newcomer, one that doesn’t reflect his status within the club.
For N’Dombélé, there have been several discussions between other clubs and his agents and Lyon, which means the contract renewal discussions drag on. In this case, he has the leverage to ask for a higher wage, or ask that if he has a good season next year he be allowed to leave. At the moment it seems that he will renew his contract and stay another season rather than leave this summer. Even if there are other clubs interested in him, he and his entourage know that he only has one season in Ligue 1 under his belt, and that he should stay. It’s just a question of time now, it can’t be done in just two or three weeks because this is a player who’s in demand – he might even be playing for France next season.
This comes on the heels of both Lyon manager Bruno Genesio and president Jean-Michel Aulas saying that they expect that Ndombele will remain with Lyon next season.
That would obviously be bad news for Tottenham Hotspur. Ndombele is a solid midfielder who would help fill the void from the (likely) loss of Dembele. It was looking like Ndombele was at the top of Spurs’ list of midfield reinforcements, but getting him now seems less likely.
Central midfield is an area of critical need for Tottenham next season. With Jean Michel Seri improbably signing for Fulham today, the list of game-changing midfielders is starting to dwindle. If Ndombele is truly off the market, Spurs may have to dig deep or get creative to find the right person to help transform their midfield.