Tottenham are determined to keep Erik Lamela at White Hart Lane after his difficult debut season.

The Argentine became Spurs’ record signing last year when he completed a £30m switch to north London from Roma, and was initially dubbed as the man to replace the outgoing Gareth Bale.

However a series of injuries and an inability to settle in England saw him fail to justify the hefty price tag.

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Lamela has been heavily linked with a return to Italy in recent weeks, with Inter Milan having been mooted as a likely destination.

But the San Siro outfit’s sporting director, Piero Ausilio, has revealed that Tottenham are desperate to keep their attacking star:

“Lamela is a dream that we haven’t been given a chance to realise,” he is quoted by the London Evening Standard.

“Simply because Tottenham don’t want to put him in the market.”

The 22-year-old barely featured under Tim Sherwood at the back end of last season, but incoming manager Mauricio Pochettino – a fellow Argentine – is thought o be ready to hand the youngster a fresh start.

Lamela recently took to Twitter to reveal his excitement ahead of 2014/15 by posting a picture of him training to overcome a back problem.

The Magic Sponge