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Spurs still interested in Diawara after Napoli drops price

Is this a break-glass-in-case-Ndombele-falls-through rumor?

SSC Napoli v FC Zurich - UEFA Europa League Round of 32: Second Leg Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

We’re not even to June and already we have a pretty good idea who Tottenham Hotspur’s top targets in the summer transfer window are, and that in and of itself is pretty unusual. Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombele and Real Betis’ Giovani Lo Celso are at the top of that list, but there’s also a host of players that are right behind them on Spurs’ radar.

Napoli defensive midfielder Amadou Diawara is one of those players, and according to one Italian media source, Napoli are willing to let him go for pretty cheap. Il Mattino (via Sport Witness) is claiming that Napoli have dropped their price on Diawara and would let him go for as little as €20m. Both Tottenham and Arsenal are reportedly interested.

We’ve talked a little bit about Diawara on Carty Free in the past. He’s a solid midfield destroyer type who strangely isn’t getting a whole lot of playing time at Napoli, stuck behind Allan and Piotr Zielinski. In fact, he only had 650 minutes of action this season in Serie A, but at just 21 he’s highly regarded as a midfielder who is tipped for great things.

If Spurs are interested in Diawara, it brings up a couple of intriguing possibilities. If Ndombele is the Cadillac, Diawara is the Honda — a lot cheaper, but still pretty darn good and with a solid engine. Diawara could be seen as an alternative if Ndombele falls through or decides to go elsewhere. He could also be the midfield alternative if Christian Eriksen decides to stay at Spurs, meaning his transfer fee couldn’t be used for a more expensive signing. (This also presupposes that Spurs end up signing Lo Celso, which obviously isn’t a done deal either.)

I’m of the opinion that €20m is a steal for a 21-year old player with Diawara’s strength and potential. Would I choose him over Ndombele? No, but there’s certainly a world where Diawara comes across as the budget midfield option, which could open up additional funds to spend elsewhere — say, a new right back or center half. And that wouldn’t be a bad world to live in either.