Tottenham Hotspur target Keita Balde Diao is close to joining Inter Milan, according to latest reports from CalcioMercato (via talkSPORT). The Lazio youngster has attracted a lot of attention this summer transfer window with a number of clubs interested in signing him. Tottenham were the most prominent suitors while Juventus were also credited with a strong interest.
The Senegal international will be out of contract at the end of this season and has been targeted by the Bianconeri although they were reluctant to match Lazio’s asking price.
Now, it looks like the San Siro club has stolen a march over all the competitors for Balde’s signature. This comes as a blow to the Spurs fans who were warming up to the reports that linked Balde with the club. Keita has been missing from Lazio’s squad this season and although he has provided doctor’s notes to justify his absence, it is well known that the promising youngster would leave this summer.
He has been trying to force a move to Juventus although it was only Spurs that matched the price set by Lazio. The Nerazzurri currently have problems because of the Financial Fair Play which means that Keita could be signed only on loan.
The same report indicates that Keita could sign a new contract with Lazio and then move on a two-year loan deal to Inter with an obligation to buy in 2019. The striker, who is a former Barcelona youth product, was one of the standout performers of Serie A last season.
How bad is this missed signing? Balde had a breakout season last year that saw him score 16 goals and catch the attention of the top clubs. With the ability to excel anywhere in the front line, he could have been a good addition to Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Balde could have been a perfect backup for Harry Kane but it looks like we will miss out on another target this summer window.
Fortunately, this one is lost not because of lack of intent from our side!