Tottenham director Fabio Paratici is reportedly eyeing a move for Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti after Pau Torres decided against a move to north London.
Umtiti, 27, is one of many players the Spanish giants are trying to get rid of this summer to help balance the books amid a terrible financial situation which has seen club legend Lionel Messi already depart for Paris Saint-Germain.
According to SPORT, the Frenchman has turned down a number of approaches from Ligue 1 sides, much to Joan Laporta’s annoyance.
In an unexpected turn of events, the Catalan giants are now apparently threatening to terminate Umtiti’s contract if he does not commit to another team before the end of the window.
This has Spurs on red alert as they are looking for a second centre-back signing in this transfer season to compliment the arrival of Copa America winner Cristian Romero.
So far, Paratici and co. have struggled in completing the signings of Takehiro Tomiyasu and now Chelsea target Jules Kounde with the later looking more unlikely as the deadline looms.
As a result, Tottenham’s hierarchy are having to start drawing up alternative shortlists, and the latest has both Umtiti and Torres at the top end of the list.
For the Barcelona defender, the metaphoric door is more than ajar for the north London side, but practically wide open, to revive the interest they have previously shown in the 27-year-old.
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The Frenchman’s preference for Champions League football was an initial concern for Spurs, but Barcelona’s latest decision has left Umtiti with seemingly little choice but to reconsider his stance.
Laporta’s desperation to sell the French international means Nuno Espirito Santo’s side can complete a cut-price deal if they step up their pursuit before the August 31 deadline.
If no move to N17 was to come to fruition, Villarreal’s Torres would take some convincing to accept the proposal of playing Europa Conference League football in this campaign.
The 24-year-old reportedly refused to consider the first proposal from Paratici, but the Italian director will apparently do his utmost in sealing an unexpected deal for the ex-Manchester United target.
Spanish outlet AS (via Sport Witness) have reported that the new Europa Conference League club are willing to increase their proposal for the player to tempt him into moving to north London this summer.
Spurs have already been told what they need to know about Torres by former Arsenal manager Unai Emery, who says the defender will play at the highest level.
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“Pau Torres is an amazing player – I think he’s top,” Emery told football.london.
“I’ve been a coach in Sevilla, PSG, Arsenal and I’ve never seen a centre-back like Pau Torres.
“I think he’s going to play at the highest level, he’s playing now in the national team but he can play in the top teams in Europe very soon.”