That’s according to Fabrizio Romano, with the Italian transfer insider revealing on a recent episode of the House of Champions podcast that, after being heavily linked with a move for the Atalanta BC attacking midfielder in the summer, Fabio Paratici remains interested in a move for the 29-year-old ahead of the winter market.
Regarding Spurs’ interest in the Ukraine international, Romano said: “In the final weeks of August, Tottenham wanted a midfielder. They wanted Malinovskyi from Atalanta and he remains a player appreciated by Tottenham.”
And, a further report by Italian media outlet Calciomercato recently went as far as to claim that Paratici has already made contact with the Serie A side’s president, Antonio Percassi, concerning a move for the playmaker, with La Dea said to be willing to part with Malinovskyi for a fee in the region of €30m (£26m).
Considering just how much success Paratici has enjoyed with his signings from Italy so far during his time at Tottenham, in addition to how impressive Malinovskyi has been for Atalanta in recent seasons, should the 50-year-old manage to pull off a deal for the midfielder this winter, he could well prove to be the sporting director’s next gem from Serie A.
Indeed, arguably Paratici’s best signing for Spurs has been his €19m (£16.5m) capture of Rodrigo Bentancur, the 25-year-old who has scored five goals and registered six assists over his 39 appearances for Antonio Conte’s side, with the central midfielder now boasting a market valuation in the region of £52m.
Speaking recently about the Uruguay international, another of Paratici’s impressive Serie A signings, Dejan Kulusevski, said of his former Juventus teammate (via the Evening Standard): “He is a fantastic player, one of the most underrated players in the world.”
And, taking into account Malinovskyi’s eye-catching returns in Italy, it would be wise not to bet against the 29-year-old becoming the sporting director’s next masterclass in the January transfer window.
Indeed, according to FBref, the £17.5m-rated talent currently ranks in the top 18% of attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe’s big five leagues for non-penalty goals per 90, as well as the top 5% for shots, the top 15% for assists and the top 7% for shot creating actions over the past 12 months.
Furthermore, the £19k-per-week Ukrainian also ranks in the top 20% for passes attempted per 90, in addition to the top 3% for progressive passes, the top 16% for dribbles completed and the top 7% for xAG – xG which follows a pass that assists a shot – over the last 365 days.
Further still, with Malinovskyi being able to operate from a number of positions across the pitch – including left and right wing-back, defensive, central and attacking midfield, as well as on the left-wing and even as a centre-forward – the “stunning” 29-year-old’s impressive versatility would very much look to suit Conte down to the ground.
As such, while Atalanta are believed to be asking for around £26m in order to part with the forward-thinking midfielder this winter, considering the fact that the 51-cap international’s current contract at the Gewiss Stadium is set to expire at the end of the season, it would appear extremely likely the Serie A side would accept a much lower fee in January.
And, should Paratici be able to negotiate a deal in the same ballpark as the fee he signed the Uruguayan midfielder for almost 12 months ago, there would seem absolutely no reason why Malinovskyi could not go on to become the Italian’s next Bentancur-esque coup at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.