Spurs ready to move for Amrabat as Barcelona step up Azpilicueta pursuit

·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images
  • Spurs want Fiorentina midfielder on loan and £13.4m buy option

  • Barcelona to offer Azpilicueta three-year deal from summer

Tottenham are ready to submit an official proposal to sign the defensive midfielder Sofyan Amrabat on loan from Fiorentina with an option to buy for €16m (£13.4m).

Amrabat, who is with Morocco at the Africa Cup of Nations, has his heart set on a move to Spurs and is Antonio Conte’s preferred option in that position.

Related: Newcastle close to signing Bruno Guimarães from Lyon for £33.5m

Talks have been taking place since Sunday but Tottenham need to offload Tanguy Ndombele, who is wanted on loan by Paris Saint-Germain, or Dele Alli, who is an option for Newcastle, if they are to take Amrabat.

Amrabat has made only one Serie A start this season, in mid-October, with his other 10 appearances in the league coming from the bench. The 25-year-old, born in the Netherlands, has previously played for Utrecht, Feyenoord, Brugge and Verona.

Fiorentina are close to selling the striker Dusan Vlahovic to Juventus for €75m, including add-ons, and have a deal in place to bring in Arthur Cabral from Basel to replace him for a fee that could rise to €16m.

Barcelona are stepping up their attempts to sign César Azpilicueta, who is moving closer to leaving Chelsea on a free at the end of the season.

Chelsea still hope to convince Azpilicueta to stay, but they are yet to agree to the 32-year-old defender’s request for a three-year deal. Further talks are planned and Thomas Tuchel does not want to lose his captain, who is valued for his dependability and leadership.

Chelsea tend not to offer long deals to players in their 30s and Barça are understood to be prepared to offer a three-year deal. Xavi Hernández, Barcelona’s manager, is keen to sign the Spain international and confidence is growing that his future lies at the Camp Nou.

C&#xe9;sar Azpilicueta in action for Chelsea against Tottenham this month.
César Azpilicueta in action for Chelsea against Tottenham this month. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters

Sources believe that Azpilicueta, who is interested in playing for Xavi, is likely to move at the end of the season. However the right-back could have a change of heart if Chelsea alter their stance and increase their offer of a one-year extension.

Barcelona are interested in signing the Chelsea centre-back Andreas Christensen on a free. Christensen, in the final six months of his deal, has also been targeted by Bayern Munich. Chelsea could also lose the Germany defender, Antonio Rüdiger, who could join Real Madrid on a free.

One defensive option for Chelsea could be Niklas Süle, who is set to leave Bayern on a free this summer. However it remains to be seen whether Tuchel wants the Germany defender.

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