Tottenham Hotspur have been handed a boost in their bid to bring Ruslan Malinovskyi to the Premier League this summer.
In recent comments cited by Italian publication Repubblica (via The Express), Gian Piero Gasperini all but confirmed that, amid numerous reports linking Fabio Paratici with a move for the Atalanta BC midfielder in recent weeks, the 29-year-old is available on the market this summer, and will be free to leave should an offer of €20m (£17m) be lodged for the Ukrainian.
Previous reports have also suggested that, despite the interest of both Nottingham Forest – who are believed to have submitted a €15m (£13m) bid for Malinovskyi earlier this month – and Olympique Marseille, the 49-cap international’s preferred destination is Spurs – who are known to have a good relationship with the Serie A side following their dealings for Cristian Romero and Pierluigi Gollini.
With it being well-known that Antonio Conte is hoping to add a new forward-thinking midfielder to his Tottenham squad prior to the closure of the summer transfer window on September 1, it is not difficult to see why Paratici has identified Malinovskyi as a target who he believes could fulfil this role in the 52-year-old’s side.
Indeed, according to FBref, the £25.2m-rated talent ranks in the top 9% of attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe’s big five leagues and European competitions for non-penalty goals per 90, as well as the top 2% for shots, the top 9% for assists and the top 7% for shot-creating actions over the last 365 days – proving just how effective the 29-year-old is going forwards.
Furthermore, the £21k-per-week midfielder also ranks in the top 6% for progressive passes per 90, in addition to the top 19% for dribbles completed, the top 18% for passes attempted, the top 18% for progressive passes received and the top 24% for progressive carries over the past 12 months – demonstrating Malinovskyi’s ability and effectiveness while in possession of the ball.
Finally, the Ukraine international who Carlo Garganese dubbed “unreal” also ranks in the top 12% for aerial duels won and the top 16% for pressures per 90 – highlighting the midfielder’s threat in the air and work rate in a defensive capacity, traits that would appear to make him something of a perfect fit to Conte’s tactical setup at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
As such, should Paratici manage to get a £17m deal over the line for Malinovskyi in the coming days, the Italian sporting director could well have unearthed his next Romero-esque discovery from Atalanta – with the centre-back having been one of Spurs’ key players since his own £42.5m move to the club last summer – a prospect that is certain to excite supporters and Conte alike.