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Tottenham to trigger purchase clause for Cristian Romero

It was a matter of when, not if. And the when is now.

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Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton FC - Premier League Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Cristian Romero technically isn’t a Tottenham Hotspur player, but very soon he will be. Romero was signed last summer from Atalanta on an initial loan deal but with an easily achievable purchase option. His performances in a Tottenham shirt have been so good that it very quickly became a matter of not IF Spurs would exercise their option to convert the loan into a permanent signing, but WHEN.

That time is apparently now. Mike McGrath & Sam Dean report in The Telegraph that Spurs will trigger that purchase option this month, signing Romero on a long-term contract for a reported fee of £41m. If you include the loan fee from last season and perfomance-based add-ons, it means Spurs will have paid a total of £47m for Romero. The purchase clause was said to have expired at the end of August.

There was really no doubt at all that Spurs would do this. In fact, I’m a little surprised to hear that they haven’t done it already. The loan-to-buy method is a favorite transfer mechanism by Tottenham Managing Director of Football Fabio Paratici, and was used for another of Spurs’ high-profile signings, Dejan Kulusevski. Deki actually has an additional year to go on his two year loan from Juventus, and Spurs have already signaled that they intend to trigger his purchase option in the summer of 2023.

If we add Romero’s purchase option fee into the mix, Spurs will have spent more than £124m this summer on incoming players, before player sales. Romero’s fee is the second largest of the summer, behind the initial £50m paid for Richarlison.

While the focus will shift to outgoing players for the rest of the summer, McGrath & Dean suggest that Spurs might not be done bringing in new faces. They note that Spurs are still interested in adding another central midfielder, as evidenced by the (weird) pursuit of Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo and flirtations with Leicester City’s James Maddison, and Destiny Udogie is still set to confirm a transfer and loan back to Udinese sometime next week. Those additional moves could wait until the end of the transfer window, with the suggestion that Spurs are uniquely positioned to take advantage of any good deals that may emerge.