Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte has been dealt a blow in his pursuit of Rodrigo De Paul…
According to transfer insider Dean Jones, Spurs will struggle to lure the Argentina international to north London as he appears to be very happy at Atletico Madrid.
The Lilywhites were linked with a move for De Paul earlier this month, with reports in Italy suggesting that sporting director Fabio Paratici had made an approach for him but is keen to remain in Spain.
“In terms of Rodrigo de Paul, I don’t know if he’s got enough appetite to push for a transfer like this,” Jones told GIVEMESPORT. “I spoke to a contact in Madrid and he said he seems pretty happy to stay where he is for right now. So I think that’ll also be a difficult get for Spurs.”
The 28-year-old joined the LaLiga side for £30m last summer and quickly become a regular for them throughout the season, though towards the end of the campaign, De Paul somewhat fell out of favour under Diego Simeone.
That said, he still ranked inside Atletico’s top seven performers in LaLiga, averaging a WhoScored rating of 6.80, which is pretty solid.
Conte could look to move both Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele in this window, as he did in January, whilst Harry Winks seemingly has no future at the club, so there could be space for another central midfielder at Hotspur Way.
De Paul would have been a nice addition to that engine room.
FBref list the likes of Mateo Kovacic, Youri Tielemans and Pedri as comparable players in terms of statistical profile, whilst the Argentina international ranks inside the top 9% for progressive passes (6.07. per 90) and the top 6% for shot-creating actions (3.43 per 90).
So he could be a more creative influence in the midfield and one that would be a great fit for the Premier League, given the above evidence.
Spurs are thought to be on the lookout for a playmaking talent, so Conte will surely be fuming by this latest development from Jones.
Once lauded as a player who “lacks absolutely nothing,” it’s clear that De Paul would have added a lot to the Italian’s armoury and as such, he must be gutted to miss out on this target.