Tottenham could be set for a £26million windfall for Tanguy Ndombele with the Frenchman starting to break into and impress within the Napoli first team. The Frenchman is currently on loan at the Serie A leaders who have an option to buy within the deal, something that could help boost Antonio Conte’s transfer funds in January if it is activated.
Ndombele’s moved to Tottenham in 2019 and became the club’s record signing, with Spurs forking out £55.5m for his signature. But his move did not work, making just 91 appearances over his three years at the club mostly coming from the bench as concerns regularly raised over his work rate and attitude.
He did not last long at White Hart Lane after Conte’s arrival last November, first being shipped out on loan to his previous club Lyon in January before another temporary deal with Napoli followed this summer. There is a £26m option to buy written into his deal – but this did not look like it would be activated with the 25-year-old behind Piotr Zielinski, Frank Zambo Anguissa and Stanislav Lobotka in Luciano Spalletti’s pecking order.
However, he has found himself receiving more match action in recent weeks and was singled out for praise by his manager following Napoli’s 3-2 win over Bologna last weekend. The seven-time capped French international replaced the injured former Fulham star Anguissa in the starting line-up and Spalletti was keen to discuss how well he did in the Cameroonian’s absence.
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“Without Anguissa, we need some strength in between and Ndombele has these characteristics,” he explained. “He is improving, he has a panther step and loses a few meters: then when he realizes that he has to recover, he has a few meters less. He has strength and quality, an extraordinary pocket and shot from outside the box.”
The praise Ndombele has received from his new manager will raise hopes at White Hart Lane that they may be able to recoup some of their original expenditure on the player. Any funds they receive are likely to go straight into Conte’s transfer kitty as he looks to add to his squad for the second half of the season.
The club have been linked with a range of players over the last few weeks with Italy appearing to be the focus of their transfer business. Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo has once again been linked with a move to White Hart Lane while Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci has also been mooted.
It remains to be seen whether or not Napoli will decide to activate Ndombele’s release clause – but hopes within the club will be higher than ever that they can soon rid themselves of the underperforming midfielder.
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