Fabrizio Romano confirms Tottenham transfer miss as top Conte target nears Ligue 1 transfer

Ruslan Malinovskyi and Nicolo Barella Credit: Alamy
Ruslan Malinovskyi and Nicolo Barella Credit: Alamy

Tottenham have reportedly failed in their attempt to sign Atalanta star Ruslan Malinovskyi with Antonio Conte now looking elsewhere for midfield additions.

Spurs have enjoyed an up-and-down campaign to date, with ten victories from their 18 Premier League games. However, they have lost on five occasions. And the north Londoners slipped out of the top four with a damaging 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa on New Year’s Day.

That reverse prompted Conte to admit his side’s failings. And he confessed that a lack of creative players is hampering the team’s progress this term.

With the transfer window open, Spurs have understandably been linked to a number of stars.

Malinovskyi was thought to be high on their list of priorities. Marseille were said to be the main obstacle to a deal being done.

However, back on  December 28 it was reported that the French club had ended their interest in the Ukraine international.

It seemed as though the capital outfit had been handed a free run at landing the talented playmaker.

But things appear to have changed as trusted transfer guru Fabrizio Romano pointed out on Twitter.

The Italian journalist has reported that Marseille are ‘closing in’ on a deal to sign the former Genk ace.

And he expects that the transfer will be completed next week. That means Conte will have to turn his attention elsewhere to bolster his attacking ranks.

Tottenham thwarted in bargain Malinovskyi deal

Malinovskyi has been with Atalanta since the summer of 2019 when the Serie A club paid Genk around €14m for his services.

It was certainly money well spent as the 29-year-old has enjoyed 143 outings in all competitions, scoring 30 goals.

He has also assisted 28 and become an important member of La Dea. But the ex-Shakhtar Donetsk youth star was due to fall out of contract at the end of the current season.

It has been reported that the Italians have triggered a one-year extension to his present deal.

That would prevent him from negotiating a pre-contract deal with clubs outside of Italy this month.

However, it appears as though he will be on the move, with Marseille set to pay around €12m for his signature.

Tottenham were looking for an initial loan deal but that was rejected by the selling club.

And now Les Phoceens are set to benefit from the low price tag and take him on permanent terms.

Conte needs help for in-form Kane

Conte oversaw a 1-0 FA Cup third-round victory over Portsmouth on Saturday. Harry Kane scored the only goal of the game, with attention now focused on the upcoming north London derby.

Spurs host table-topping Arsenal on Sunday, January 15. And it remains to be see whether the Italian tactician has managed to bolster his ranks by then.

Leicester City midfield star James Maddison has been mentioned in connection with the Lilywhites.

He will certainly not come cheap and there is competition from Newcastle United. The Tynesiders are no longer the poor relation when it comes to signing players.

And it may be that a move to St James’ Park is more appealing for the England man.

Conte will be backed in the transfer market. But he and Fabio Paratici need to work hard to get the right type of player into the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

READ MORE: Man Utd urged to break bank for Tottenham star with Ten Hag told why transfer can help them win Champions League

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