Antonio Conte reviews Man City defeat
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Tottenham would never feel inclined to thank north London neighbours Arsenal due to the clubs’ long-standing rivalry, but the Gunners’ recent business in the transfer market could be a blessing in disguise for Antonio Conte’s side. Having looked destined to wear the red shirt of Arsenal from next summer onwards, the path is clear for Evan Ndicka to seal a move to Tottenham on a free transfer.
It appeared that Arsenal were set to complete the bargain signing of Ndicka from Eintracht Frankfurt after reaching an agreement with the Frenchman, who opted not to sign a new contract with the Bundesliga outfit. His current deal is set to expire in June and, with no renewal on the horizon, he has been allowed to speak with foreign clubs from January 1.
But the 23-year-old’s hopes of moving to the Emirates Stadium may have been dashed with the imminent arrival of Spezia defender Jakub Kiwior.
The young centre-back is poised to complete a £22million transfer to north London to become Arsenal’s second signing of the transfer window after completing the capture of Leandro Trossard from Brighton for an initial £21m.
Kiwior is a left-sided centre-back and has been earmarked as a talent for the future. He has featured in all 17 of the Serie A club’s matches this season and is already at Poland international at the age of 22.
Arsenal’s faith in Kiwior has been reflected in their big-money investment to bring in the highly-rated Pole. But in moving for him, they have seemingly closed the door on Ndicka, who would have taken up the role of a left-sided central defender in Mikel Arteta’s squad.
And that could prove to be a huge boost for Conte, who is understood to be keen on adding Ndicka to his squad. There are still question marks hanging over whether the Italian will be staying at the club beyond the summer, but for now, he is looking at ways to improve the squad.
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Tottenham already have Ben Davies and Clement Lenglet who can play in the same role in the back three, but neither have convinced in recent games and Lenglet’s struggle to impress means it is unlikely he will secure a permanent move from Barcelona.
Spurs know that they would have the upper hand in any transfer talks with Frankfurt due to his contract situation and could negotiate a cut-price fee to sign Ndicka this month. That could prove to be crucial in beating competition from other clubs in the race to clinch his signature, with Ndicka likely to be an attractive option for Italian clubs on a free transfer this summer.
AC Milan and Inter Milan have both been linked with the former Auxerre trainee – who has been with Frankfurt since 2018 – while Juventus are known to be keen on snapping up free agents.
However, Spurs will fancy their chances of seeing off the competition to land Ndicka, especially now that Arsenal have moved onto other targets, and getting a player who once looked destined for N7 will be a rare chance for celebration at Spurs.
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