Lyon central midfielder Tanguy Ndombele continues to be a top target for Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham Hotspur in this summer’s transfer window, but it appears that there remains a pretty substantial financial gulf between the two clubs’ valuations.
The Guardian writes today that Spurs are indeed very interested in signing Ndombele and that Pochettino considers him “precisely the type of player” he wants to sign this summer. However, contrary to prior reports, Tottenham have not made an official bid for him. Spurs apparently value Ndombele at €50m (£44m), while Lyon are holding out for a bid of €75m (£66m).
This puts two of the toughest negotiators in club football on a collision course as Daniel Levy goes up against his French counterpart Jean-Michel Aulas, who is known for being as hard-headed at transfer negotiations as Levy. Aulas went as far as to state to the press that he is trying to gin up interest in Ndombele from “the biggest European clubs” in order to drive up Ndombele’s price.
So don’t get too hung up on the “haven’t made a bid yet” part. Ndombele has been with the French national team competing in EURO qualifiers for the past week, and while it sure does seem like Levy is wanting to complete some of Spurs’ business in the early part of the window, these things do take time and it’s still early June.
What’s more important is that the Guardian, itself a very reputable source, is confirming that we are in negotiations with Lyon for his purchase. That in and of itself is comforting and exciting, though there remains the possibility that a big club like Manchester City, which has been linked to Ndombele in the past, could jump in at any point during the negotiations.
The fact that we HAVEN’T heard of any major clubs swooping in for Ndombele however makes me somewhat confident. Aulas does appear to be driving up the price, but thus far it doesn’t appear that any other clubs are biting. I suspect that if and when Spurs do make a bid it will be a higher than the €50m valuation stated in the Guardian, but I’m not convinced that Ndombele will be sold for the €75m asking price.
So everyone keep not moving. At least for now.