Did you think there wouldn’t be any more drama in the ongoing transfer saga between Tottenham Hotspur and Atalanta over Cristian Romero? Oh, my sweet summer child. This evening. Gianluca DiMarzio is reporting that talks have broken down between Spurs and Atalanta over the transfer, and while things aren’t dead yet, Spurs are apparently furious with the way Atalanta are delaying business.
The latest reports, which have trickled out over the day, suggested that Fabio Paratici has been in constant negotiations with his Atalanta counterpart. Romero, for his sake, is described as “desperate” to come to Spurs, with personal terms already agreed between him and the club.
According to DiMarzio, Atalanta have been delaying coming to an agreement because they want to get Romero’s replacement in first. That, it seems, has led to the breakdown in talks today — Spurs went as far as to up their offer to €50m in an attempt to speed things along, as they want Romero in the club and ready to start in time for the Premier League opener against Manchester City on August 14, only to have Atalanta demur.
So, this classic transfer window brinksmanship and while it sounds scary (and is, a bit) it may not be anything that we really need to worry over quite yet. From the tone of DiMarzio’s article, the breakdown of talks appears to be instigated by Tottenham, and not by Atalanta — Spurs are fed up with Atalanta moving the goalposts and delaying a transfer that feels almost inevitable. The player wants to leave. Both sides are supposedly close to a breakthrough. It feels like Atalanta are overplaying their hand a bit, and Spurs are calling them on it by threatening to walk away from the deal entirely.
DiMarzio goes on to say that Romero is supposed to return from his post-Copa America rest and report to Atalanta on Monday, but he wants to get his future sorted out before then. Spurs clearly want this to happen, and I have a feeling that at the prices talked about Atalanta really can’t afford NOT to do this transfer. Also, Spurs even upped their bid, which should appease the “FFS Levy just pay more” crowd. €50m is a lot of money for a defender in a COVID year, even the best defender in Serie A, so it’s hard to fault Spurs for getting ticked off and playing hardball in this situation. Sometimes that’s what you have to do.
It’s also worth noting that, according to Fabrizio Romano, Atalanta may be closing in on their Romero replacement after all. That adds a new wrinkle — if Verona is stalling on Atalanta because they know Atalanta are soon to be flush with Romero cash, that could move its way up the chain to Tottenham.
Atalanta are set to sign Verona and Italy U21 talented centre-back Matteo Lovato. Total agreement reached for €11m #transfers— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 30, 2021
Tottenham and Atalanta are still in direct contact to reach an agreement for Cristian Romero. No Barça - only Spurs in the race. Pushing again. #THFC
If I had to guess, my guess is that talks will recommence tomorrow sometime, Spurs will make it clear that they aren’t afraid to walk away, and this will get done. In the mean time we have a scary headline, but there’s every chance that they’ll still get their man when it’s all said and done.