Tottenham have been outbid by French Ligue1 side Lyon for Pape Cheikh Diop but the Celta Vigo player is angling for a move to London, reports The Daily Mail.
The 20-year-old midfielder has made just 20 appearances for the Spanish side but his talent and potential grabbed the attention of the bigger clubs across Europe. He has represented Spain at the Under-20 level and is widely regarded as one of the most talented Spaniards at his age-level.
He has a release clause of €30million in his contract that runs until 2021. However, Celta have a number of options in the midfield and are not averse to cashing in on Diop this summer. Spurs offered close to £9million for the midfielder last week and were close to striking a deal, as per reports from the Spanish media (h/t Sports Mole).
Lyon too were interested in the player and could significantly offer him more first-team action than Tottenham. They swiftly followed Tottenham with a larger bid and a lucrative package of personal terms for the player to lure him to the Groupama stadium, according to the Daily Mail.
However, the same report also indicates that the youngster has his heart set on a move to London. This means that Lyon face an uphill battle in their attempt to stop Diop away from a move to the White Hart Lane. Tottenham are yet to make any signing and Diop is not going to be a fans’ signing. However, considering his age and potential, Mauricio Pochettino sees him developing into a class player in the coming seasons.
Pochettino may view Diop as a natural successor to Mousa Dembele, whose injury record is not the best. For the player too, a chance to move to a better league and a bigger club could sway his decision in favour of Tottenham.
But Lyon’s interest can’t be taken lightly as the French side are swift with their approach. To lean back on the player’s interest and think as if we have already signed the player, could backfire eventually.
Pochettino is looking at a number of targets and is closing on a few of them, including Diop. All the signs point to a very busy final couple of weeks for the Lilywhites in the transfer window.