Tottenham: N'Koudou hitch revealed; Boufal latest; 21-year-old 'keeper linked
Three weeks ago, the transfer of 21-year-old Marseille winger Georges-Kevin N’Koudou to Tottenham Hotspur looked to be all but complete. A fee had been agreed with the French club, N’Koudou had passed the medical, and personal terms had been agreed, but the player remains in France and Spurs are still without their new winger.
Sky Sports have now revealed the intricacies of the deal that has delayed the transfer of N’Koudou by such a long time. Whilst negotiations were occurring for the France under-21 international, Olympique Marseille appointed a new president, Giovanni Ciccolunghi, who wished to have the deal for N’Koudou, which would see Clinton N’Jie going the other way, reviewed.
Ciccolunghi is determined to restore Marseille’s business reputation, and has held up the deal in order to get more add-ons for the transfer of N’Koudou. All of this was still going on despite the player passing a medical at White Hart Lane, Clinton N’Jie being ready to sign and having a new work visa for France, and the deal being all but done almost a month ago.
Spurs are determined to see the deal through, though, and they see N’Koudou’s mixture of electric pace and work ethic as perfect for their high energy system. N’Koudou has come on leaps and bounds over the last season, after he joined Marseille from Nantes. Despite the French club’s struggles, the youngster impressed and is seen as a real star of the future by Mauricio Pochettino.
He will hope to get the signing through as soon as possible in order to bed the youngster in as soon as possible, in order to avoid the repeating mistakes made with N’Jie. The Spurs flop is in Paris awaiting the green light to go the other way to Marseille, having struggled at White Hart Lane last season.
If the deal for N’Koudou continues to stall, though, it is possible that the side may look at Lille winger Soufiane Boufal. The 22-year-old has already been linked with Spurs this summer, and managed an impressive 12 goals in 35 appearances last season.
However, despite the Moroccan being seen as a very bright prospect, it has been reported that Spurs’ interest was merely a ploy by Daniel Levy in order to try and push the deal for N’Koudou over the line faster.
Boufal has long been tipped for a big money exit from Lille, and would cost around double the price of N’Koudou should Spurs return their interest in the Moroccan. For now, it appears that Daniel Levy is just using Boufal as a bargaining chip, but they could do a lot worse than bringing him in as an extra option in their attacking midfield ranks. He would certainly add goals to the side, and provide good back up to the likes of Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen.
Finally, another youngster who may be arriving at Spurs in the near future is Espanyol goalkeeper Pau Lopez. The Barcelona based club’s sporting director Angel Gomez said that the goalkeeper could leave if the right offer came in for the 21-year-old, with a fee of around €5 million thought to be the price he is willing to sell for.
Promoted to the Espanyol first team as a teenager by Mauricio Pochettino, new Espanyol manager Quique Sanches Flores has signed Roberto Jiminez from Olympiacos, making a move to Spurs all the more likely for the young ‘keeper.
Seen as a long term replacement for Hugo Lloris, a move for such a cheap, young, but experienced stopper such as Lopez should be made by Spurs. A handful of cup games would allow him to get to grips with English football and prepare him for becoming number one in a few seasons. A good move by Spurs if they go for it.
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