Spurs News Round Up: Mourinho, Ndombele and Rakitic
Another week without football has passed and, while we await the possible return of the Premier League, there are some things to discuss from a Spurs’ perspective. Transfer rumours and the role of the club in the community are in the spotlight as we round up some developments from the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium.
It’s been well documented that manager Jose Mourinho has been doing his bit for local concerns and this week, the boss took some time out to visit the new facilities at the club’s ground.
Spurs TV has published an interesting YouTube clip showing Mourinho’s first visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium since it has been transformed into an NHS facility. Jose said that it was an emotional return and difficult to imagine the ground as it was on matchdays.
Mourinho has been volunteering at Spurs’ training ground to harvest produce and to deliver food parcels to local charities. It’s been a great effort on everyone’s behalf and, along with the manager, we can all be rightly proud of the club.
Despite arriving at Spurs as the club’s record signing just 12 months ago, there had been rumours that Tanguy Ndombele would be making an early exit this summer. The French international midfielder made a promising start to his Tottenham career, scoring the equaliser in the season’s opener against Aston Villa but that was the high point of a difficult first campaign.
Since then, injuries and some criticism from the new manager have seen Ndombele battle on under something of a cloud and those issues led to questions over his future. Those struggles may make the Frenchman seem an unlikely target for a club the size of Barcelona but that was the rumour as the EPL campaign fell dormant during this extended break.
Barca’s technical director Eric Abidal was said to be ‘in love’ with the player while other reports claimed that the club had ‘reserved’ Ndombele.
One potential stumbling block began to emerge and this involved the likely transfer fee. Having laid out £65 million on the midfielder last summer, Spurs needed to recoup their investment and Chairman Daniel Levy is not a man to ‘cut his losses.’
Just two days ago, the Daily Mail was reporting that Barcelona would only agree to a deal that would see Samuel Ntiti or Nelson Semedo go to Spurs as part of a player plus cash deal.
Initial stories suggested that the Spurs man was keen on the switch but articles today hint at a U Turn. Having rested and recharged during this Coronavirus break, the French International is said to be determined to stay at Tottenham to win over Mourinho and the rest of his critics.
It’s been an interesting story to follow and, while there is a feeling that there is more to come from Tanguy Ndombele, it’s hoped that if there are issues between manager and player, they are not allowed to fester. Mourinho has ‘previous’ in this regard and nobody wants a Paul Pogba situation at the new White Hart Lane.
While the Ndombele transfer stories look to have ground to a halt, could they be rekindled due to Spurs’ reported interest in Ivan Rakitic? The links that have emerged hint at a straight cash deal for the player who has been at the Nou Camp since 2014.
At 32, the Swiss-born Croatian midfielder would bring vast experience to the squad and the undoubted quality that has seen him earn over 100 caps for his country. Rakitic is entering the last 12 months of his contract and it’s said that his current employers would rather offload the player than entertain talks of a new deal.
It would surely be a positive signing for Spurs but there would be no shortage of competition for Rakitic’s services. Those reports claim that Manchester United and Atletico Madrid would be keen on his signature while Serie A giants Inter Milan and Juventus have also been linked.
Time will tell on that possible transfer but it is interesting to follow these stories during this downtime. The question of the Premier League’s return also attracts headlines but for now, it’s all about how football is coping and reacting during this quiet period.