Four players involved in Spurs-Milan negotiations.Tottenham Hotspur Sporting Director Franco Baldini has been in Italy to hold ‘secret talks’ with AC Milan over a possible exchange deal for two of their players, CaughtOffside understands.
The north London club have had a quiet transfer window so far this summer, but could be set to make some major additions to their squad whilst also ridding themselves of some of the deadwood in the ranks at White Hart Lane, with a potential double swap deal with Milan on the cards.
Spurs are keen on both Colombian centre-back Cristian Zapata and young French striker M’Baye Niang, both of whom could be available before next season, and both of whom would represent decent upgrades on their current options in defence and attack.
Zapata has previously been linked with Manchester United, though their interest appears to have cooled, and it is thought that Tottenham have been keen to ask about the player due to Milan’s recent interest in Younes Kaboul, who could move in the opposite direction as part of the deal.
Kaboul, 28, has been a solid performer for Spurs during his time with the club, but is thought to now be surplus to requirements under new manager Mauricio Pochettino due to his poor injury record, which Milan are seemingly happy to take a gamble on as they eye additions at the back.
Niang, meanwhile, has struggled to break into the starting lineup on a regular basis since joining the Rossoneri, but remains one of the most highly rated youngsters coming through in French football at the moment.
The 19-year-old could benefit from more regular playing time, and enjoyed a successful loan spell with Ligue 1 side Montpellier last season, which appears to have convinced Tottenham to make a move for him as an alternative to their current options in attack.
Neither Roberto Soldado nor Emmanuel Adebayor have been particular convincing in recent times, and a terrific prospect such as Niang could be a great signing to add some pace and energy to Pochettino’s strike force next season.
The youngster has been linked with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City in the past, but Spurs hope that an offer of Erik Lamela in return for the player can see them win the race for his signature, with last summer’s expensive signing failing to settle into life in the Premier League after moving for £30m from Roma.
Keen to return to Italy, Milan are interested in taking on the Argentine winger, and talks appear to be progressing well for these four players to swap places before the end of the summer.