Tottenham Hotspur have been handed a boost in their bid to bring Ruslan Malinovskyi to north London this summer.
That’s according to Gianluigi Longari, with the Italian journalist revealing on Twitter that, following a number of reports linking Fabio Paratici with a move for the Atalanta attacking midfielder in recent weeks, the 29-year-old is open to the idea of a move to Antonio Conte’s side this summer. A fee of €20m (£17m) is believed to be the Ukraine international’s asking price.
In his tweet, Longari said: “Malinovskyi was actually proposed to Tottenham, a destination that is appreciated by the player. Atalanta ask for at least €20m. Spurs are considering but there has been no lunge at the moment.”
Considering just how talented a midfielder Malinovskyi is, and with Tottenham set to miss out on long-term target Nicolo Zaniolo, the argument that the 29-year-old would represent something of a dream alternative to the AS Roma star is an easy one to make.
Indeed, over his 30 Serie A appearances – only 19 of which came as starts – last season, the £25.2m-rated talent was in spectacular form for Atalanta. He scored six goals, registered four assists and created 13 big chances for his team-mates, along with taking 1.9 shots, making 1.5 key passes and completing 1.6 dribbles per game.
These returns saw the £21k-per-week talent – who Carlo Garganese dubbed “unreal” – average a remarkable SofaScore match rating of 7.22, ranking him not only as Gian Piero Gasperini’s second-best performer in the league but also as the joint 18th-best player in the entire division last time out.
In comparison, across Zaniolo’s 28 Serie A appearances – 23 of which came as starts – in 2021/22, the £29.7m-rated playmaker scored two goals, provided two assists and created four big chances for his team-mates, in addition to taking 2.5 shots, making one key pass and completing two dribbles per outing.
These metrics saw the £75k-per-week Italy international average a SofaScore match rating of 6.70, only ranking him as Jose Mourinho’s joint 18th-best performer in the top flight of Italian football last season.
It is true that Malinovskyi is six years Zaniolo’s senior, but considering that the former has an asking price roughly £25m less than the 23-year-old’s reported £42m fee, coupled with their respective returns last season, the argument that the Ukrainian would be a dream alternative to the Roma talent is indeed an easy one to make.