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Report: Barca considering player swap as Ndombele tensions rise

Shocking. That didn’t take long at all.

Tottenham Hotspur Training Session Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

The suitors are already lining up for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Tanguy Ndombele.

While more details about the rift between Ndombele and Spurs boss José Mourinho hit the internet, it took less than a day before transfer rumors suddenly popped up. It’s a story we’ve all heard before, but let’s get to it: Barcelona want Ndombele but are only looking at possible player swaps, according to The Independent.

The Independent understands that the French international wants to leave Spurs, and has attracted the interest of Barcelona.

The Spanish champions are themselves operating with a very tight budget, however, and would only be willing to do a deal if it involved some kind of player exchange.

They Catalan club are prepared to put forward Nelson Semedo or Philippe Coutinho.

Let’s take this at face value to start: Barcelona are about to sell Arthur to Juventus for around €72.5 million. However, the complication with that deal is that Juventus are trying to dump Miralem Pjanic at the same time. It does look like they’ll get that one over the finish line once they agree on Pjanic’s valuation, but Barcelona are apparently still in need of a midfielder. The Catalan giants were chasing after Ndombele when he was at Lyon and now see this as a second chance of getting the 23-year-old.

If the relationship between Ndombele and Mourinho is truly six feet under, Levy will have to decide what’s best for the club and there are a few options.

First, he could sack José Mourinho and bring someone new in. This is the least plausible scenario and I just don’t see this happening unless something truly insane happens in these final seven matches. We’d have to see him go full Woody Hayes and punch a player. Even then, I don’t think Levy sacks him.

Levy could listen to Barcelona’s offer of a player swap but either of those two players better come with some cash. I’ll go on record personally and say that Spurs don’t need Coutinho and, while Semedo would definitely be useful at right back, his valuation doesn’t sniff what Ndombele is worth. I would be upset if Spurs did either of these deals in general, but I’d be especially livid if there was no cash coming the club’s direction.

The final option is Levy could simply dig in like he normally does and set a cash value with nothing else being acceptable. I think this is the most likely scenario to happen as Levy can justify buying other players if someone like PSG or Bayern Munich come calling, both of which were interested in Ndombele as well.

I’m upset at how quickly this is turning into a saga that the club doesn’t need as they chase Champions League. Ndombele is a special talent but his first season at the club has been a rocky one. I refuse to believe that this relationship can’t be mended, which is the preferred option for me. I want to see him succeed at this club we all love, but now we all have to prepare ourselves for the possibility he’s gone after just a year.