Barcelona are considering a move for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Tanguy Ndombele after the Frenchman’s tricky start to life in England.
Ndombele became Spurs’ record signing last summer when he sealed a £54m switch to the club, but the jury is still out on the France international after a testing first season.
He has started just 12 Premier League games and has regularly been criticised by manager José Mourinho for his perceived lack of effort.
However, according to Mundo Deportivo, that indifferent form has not put off La Liga leaders Barcelona, who were one of the sides who were keen on Ndombele before he joined Spurs.
Barcelona are expected to ditch Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitić and Philippe Coutinho this summer, while manager Quique Setién wants a do-it-all midfielder to replace them. One of his targets is Ndombele, who the club believe is a ‘modern midfielder’.
Ndombele’s ability to impact the game at both ends of the field has seemingly endeared him to Camp Nou officials, who are said to be giving real consideration to trying to strike a deal to sign him this summer.
There is a belief that they may be able to get this deal over the line as a result of Ndombele’s tricky relationship with Mourinho. It’s said that the 23-year-old would consider leaving the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after everything that’s gone on, and Barcelona are eager to take advantage of that.
Napoli‘s Fabián Ruiz is also on Barcelona’s wish list, and it is suggested that the Spaniard would actually be the club’s top target. However, interest from Real Madrid – and a rumoured €100m price tag – have forced Barcelona to consider alternative options.
Mourinho may not have been overly impressed by Ndombele thus far, but it’s tough to imagine Spurs accepting defeat on their record signing just one year after he arrived.
Ndombele has made 27 appearances in all competitions but is yet to really set the world on fire. However, at only 23 years old, he still has plenty of time to turn things around, and he’s hardly the first player to struggle in their first season in the Premier League.
The Frenchman remains under contract with the club until 2025, so Spurs would be well within their rights to demand a huge figure to part ways with Ndombele, and that could ultimately prove to be too much for Barcelona.
La Blaugrana are also expected to make moves for Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar and Inter‘s Lautaro Martínez as well, which would obviously require a lot of money and may make the signing of a player like Ndombele a secondary concern.
For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!