In pictures: Tottenham v Man City
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Tottenham are closing in on the signing of highly-rated French youngster Pape Sarr, although they are set to face stiff competition from a host of rival clubs who are attempting to hijack the deal late on. Up to five sides around Europe are thought to be engaging in parallel negotiations with Sarr’s representatives, so the onus is on Spurs to act decisively.
The news comes as fellow midfielder, Tanguy Ndombele, is facing a hugely uncertain future in north London after handing in a transfer request.
Ndombele was not played during pre-season by Nuno Espirito Santo, and he was not in the matchday squad for their Premier League opener against Manchester City.
His massive wages and sizeable transfer fee could pose an obstacle to his exit from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, unless Spurs are prepared to take a loss.
When it comes to Sarr, The Athletic claim that a fee is yet to be agreed between Tottenham and Metz and personal terms are yet to be finalised, although they are ‘nearing an agreement’.
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The report also claims that three or four Premier League sides, as well as Atalanta, are negotiating alongside Spurs.
At just 18 years old, Sarr has become a key player in the Metz midfield and he scored three Ligue 1 goals last season.
His talents have also been recognised by the Senegalese national team, who have already given the teenager his first senior cap.
He has also started the first two league games of the current campaign as a number of top clubs prepare to swoop.
Sarr is a member of an emerging crop of young French midfielders including Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni, both of whom have been the subject of speculation this summer.
Thankfully for Spurs, the report states that Sarr’s dream is to play in England, although that will also suit most of the rumoured hijackers.
Metz are thought to be keen on the player returning to Ligue 1 on loan after they agree to let him leave, although Spurs may be in need of an instant impact if they offload Ndombele.
While Spurs could offer significant game time to the youngster, the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United have also been patrolling the market for midfield recruits.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have failed to replace Gini Wijnaldum, Chelsea have been linked with a host of midfielders this summer including Declan Rice, while Man Utd must prepare for the eventuality of Paul Pogba’s exit when his contract expires next summer.
With such stiff competition potentially waiting in the wings, Spurs must act decisively if they are to bag one of the hottest young prospects in French football.
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