Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly trying to sign Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan this summer with Jose Mourinho desperate to land the French stopper – and Zlatan Ibrahimovic once told the stopper that he likes his personality.
French outlet Le 10 Sport claim Mourinho is keen on landing 24-year-old goalkeeper Maignan this summer, as he continues to shine between the sticks for Lille. Spurs have already raided Lille for a number of their coaching staff this season.
Maignan has now clocked up 132 appearances for Lille after leaving Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2015. But as a 17-year-old, Maignan was training with the senior team at PSG – alongside Ibrahimovic.
Speaking in an interview with France Football earlier this season, Maignan recalled training alongside Ibrahimovic as a teenager and going through an altercation with the superstar striker – that ended in the Swedish ace applauding Maignan.
“I have responded [to Ibrahimovic] before. In training, Zlatan took a shot, the ball travels at 400km/h and it’s in. It was easy for him,” Maignan told France Football, as quoted by Get French Football News.
“He was in the box and he placed the ball with power. The Buffon’s, Julio César’s, who he has faced before, would not have stopped those shots that day. He says to me: ‘s*** goalkeeper.’ That, for me, was not right.
“The following situation, he shoots but I stop it. I was forced to respond to him. I said to him: ‘s*** attacker.’ He looked at me, he did not say anything. In the dressing room, he said ‘that it was good, I like how you are, I like your personality’.”
Maignan is clearly a strong character. Not only did he confront Ibrahimovic in training as a 17-year-old, but he has also captained Lille in the Champions League. It comes as little surprise, then, that Tottenham are interested in him.
It remains to be seen how much Lille will want for Maignan, but Daniel Levy is likely to provide Mourinho with funds this summer after a very disappointing campaign that sees Spurs sit in eighth.
If the altercation with Ibrahimovic is anything go by, Tottenham have got to land Maignan.