Rampant speculation about Tanguy Ndombele‘s future at Tottenham has him making a potential move to Barcelona in return for center-back Samuel Umtiti and right-back Nelson Semedo.
While Ndombele posted an encouraging video on Instagram yesterday saying “nothing to report”, the message wasn’t a clear indication of where his allegiances lie. Though it looks like he wants to stay at Spurs, he merely could have been suggesting there is no news to report on the potential transfer.
Barcelona have shown keen interest in Ndombele as the Frenchman struggles to find his place in north London.
Umtiti and Semedo
Arsenal were in hot pursuit of Umtiti until recently, but believe the 26-year-old’s weekly salary is overly inflated. Umtiti currently makes about £7 million per season. Not bad for a center-back who, behind Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet, is third on Barcelona’s center back pecking order. The Catalan giants also want about £45 million to secure the transfer.
Which brings us to a potential swap deal with Spurs.
Semedo would be thrown in to sweeten the deal for Spurs. Semedo is also 26 years old and plays right back, a position Tottenham badly need to strengthen. Transfermarkt has him valued at £28 million, so one would assume Spurs would have to fork out about £20 million or so to make the deal happen.
Semedo has made 16 starts while appearing in 21 matches this season for Barcelona, while Umtiti made nine starts, appearing just 11 times. The deal makes positional sense, as it checks the boxes Tottenham desperately need to reinforce and strengthen. Both players, however, are comparatively low on Barcelona’s depth chart, so how they would immediately impact Spurs first team is a frightening unknown.
In their mid-20s, both Semedo and Umtiti potentially have many excellent years left. But Ndombele is only 23 years old and Tottenham haven’t yet scratched the surface of his boundless potential.
I still feel strongly Tottenham shouldn’t give up on Ndombele. There’s a reason Mauricio Pochettino was willing to spend £63 million on the player. And it irks me deeply to envision him fulfilling his boundless potential in Spain with the Catalan giants.
While the swap deal has a lot of merit, Spurs should stand strong and show their belief in Ndombele, even if his first season in England didn’t live up to expectations.