Serie A club director reveals they had been after Tottenham player for ‘years’

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Napoli director Cristiano Giuntoli has revealed that the Serie A club had been trying to sign Tanguy Ndombele from Tottenham for a ‘few years’.

Tottenham paid a club-record £63m (Sky Sports) to sign Ndombele from Lyon in the summer of 2019, with the midfielder being considered one of the brightest talents in Europe at the time.

However, despite showing glimpses of his quality, the Frenchman failed to live up to his potential at Spurs.

Antonio Conte decided soon after he was appointed that Ndombele did not fit into his style of play and the midfielder spent the second half of last season back at Lyon on loan.

The 25-year-old was then loaned to Napoli during the final weeks of the summer transfer window, with the Serie A club reportedly having the option to make the deal permanent for £25m (The Times).

Ndombele has made three appearances this season since his switch to the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, with his only start coming in the 1-1 draw against Lecce last week.

Giuntoli has now revealed that the on-loan Spurs man has been on the Partenopei’s radar for a few years and added that the club’s good relationship with the Lilywhites hierarchy enabled them to get a deal done. 

The Napoli director told Radio Kiss Kiss (as relayed by Fabrizio Romano): “We wanted Tanguy Ndombele since long time. We already had talks with Tottenham few years ago but now the great relationship with their board helped us to reach an agreement on loan with buy option.”

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Ndombele has started well at Napoli and one would expect the Serie A club to activate the purchase clause if he continues in the same vein.

However, it is worth remembering that the Frenchman also started well at Lyon before falling away a couple of months into his spell at the club.

Let us hope that the penny has dropped for the midfielder following his struggles back in Ligue 1 last season and he turns out to be a success in Naples.

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