Tottenham have been linked with moves for Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini and Lyon’s Houssem Aouar, as they look to add a new creative midfielder to their ranks this summer.
Spurs are in rebuild mode after the arrival of Nuno Espirito Santo and look set to confirm Bologna defender Takehiro Tomiyasu as their first major signing.
But the operative word there is first, as the Japan star is expected to be the first of many new faces arriving at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the weeks ahead.
Santo wants various improvements on the side who nearly missed out on Europe altogether last season, and while another defender is high on the agenda, they also want to strengthen in the middle of the park.
Aouar has been a long reported target for virtually every major club in the Premier League, and news of Tottenham’s latest interest comes from Julien Laurens. The 23-year-old has been a regular source of goals and assists for Lyon in recent seasons, contributing directly to 63 goals in 171 appearances, and is expected to move on sooner rather than later.
Despite having just two years to run on his contract, however, Spurs are working on a budget, and Aouar wouldn’t come cheap. A more affordable target may be Pellegrini, who The Athletic have identified as another possible option.
He missed out on the Italy squad that won Euro 2020, mainly due to Roberto Mancini’s insane midfield depth, but enjoyed a highly-productive season in Rome and looks worth every penny of the €30m (£26m) release clause in his contract.
A move for either, however, may depend on player sales. Despite the desire to strengthen, Spurs count Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso, Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks among their stacked midfield ranks, and may have to move one or two on before they can justify adding more.