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Report: Ndombele close to loan to Napoli with purchase option

The latest from Italy suggests the option could become an obligation with Champions League qualification.

Tottenham Hotspur Players Return To Pre-season Training Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

The news connecting Giovani Lo Celso’s loan move to Villarreal heated up in a big way on Friday, and now it appears the same is happening to Tanguy Ndombele’s departure from Tottenham Hotspur. Earlier today, Fabrizio Romano reported that Spurs and Napoli have been in negotiations for a loan for the want-away French midfielder for a couple of days now.

Now, it appears that the deal is actually close to happening. Reports out of Italy are suggesting the deal is a year long loan with a €3m loan fee, and a €13m purchase option that could become a purchase OBLIGATION if Napoli qualify for the Champions League this coming season.

Tanguy Ndombele’s move to Napoli is in very advanced negotiations. €3m loan fee with purchase option at €13m which becomes and obligation in the event of Champions League for Napoli.

OK, so first the elephant in the room is that €16m is absolutely not a lot of money for Tanguy Ndombele considering he’s still Tottenham’s record signing at £55m. And that’s in the best case scenario. However, as it was pointed out to me by others in the writers room, the fact that we’re charging a loan fee along with a small purchase option/obligation likely means that Napoli is going to assume Ndombele’s full wages. And that’s a huge win for Spurs even if they don’t get a lot back on his transfer fee.

So how likely is it that Napoli qualifies for Champions League? Well, that’s maybe complicated. Napoli have had a ton of turnover this offseason already — Kalidou Koulibaly, Arkadiuz Milik, Lorenzo Insignie, and Fabian Ruiz have all left the club (or are soon going to). However, it’s not like the cupboard is bare. Napoli have signed Andre Zambo Anguissa from Fulham and have added some decent young talent in Mathias Olivera, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, and Kim Min-Jae (remember Monster?). And let’s not forget Victor Osimhen, who looks like is going to become a big star. Napoli finished third in Serie A last season, seven points behind AC Milan and five behind Inter. It’s not a given that they’d qualify for Champions League, but add in a (presumably) motivated Tanguy Ndombele into that mix and I think I’d take that bet.

Tanguy clearly wants out of England and there just aren’t very many teams on the continent that can afford to pay his wages. Napoli appears to be one of them. This isn’t a done deal — the source isn’t one that I’m explicitly familiar with and who knows what’ll happen before we hear Fabrizio Romano say those three beautiful little words — but it certainly seems PLAUSIBLE based on what has been reported by Fab. And this is the closest we’ve gotten to actually moving Tanguy in a very long time. Keep your powder dry, but let’s hope it’s a thing that happens — for everyone’s sake, but especially Tanguy’s.