The agent of Senegal winger Keita Balde Diao, Roberto Calenda, has been discussing his move to Inter Milan. Speaking to Gazetta dello Sport, as translated by Standard Sport, he confirmed that plenty of other teams were also keen on signing him from Monaco in the summer. It came after he impressed for Senegal at the World Cup. One of those teams, he claims, was Tottenham Hotspur.
“There were other interested teams. Since last January, Napoli had moved. We also received calls from Tottenham. But faced with the possibility of Inter, Keita had no doubts, he immediately made his wishes understood.
“Inter will find a way to redeem the player. There is time until the end of May. €34 million are needed, the total price is €40 million (£35.8 million).”
It would have been quite the commitment from Tottenham especially at the price he mentions. A fee of £35.8 million is a lot for the financially frugal Spurs.
In fairness, it would appear Tottenham are not missing out.
Keita has four goals in 22 games for the Nerazzurri this season and three assists. Not bad statistics, but hardly eye-watering.
It took him some time to settle in as well, not scoring his first goal until his 12th appearance. Just seven Serie A starts suggest he is not quite living up to his potential.
He even faced off against Tottenham earlier this season, coming on late in both Champions League fixtures against Spurs.
At £35.8 million Tottenham would have been looking for more from Keita Balde. At that fee, Spurs will be pleased nothing happened.