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Inter Milan swap deals Tottenham should consider amid Tanguy Ndombele rumours

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Reports this week claimed Tottenham Hotspur might be considering a swap deal with Inter Milan involving Tanguy Ndombele, but the suggestion was swiftly shut down.

Spurs definitely want to keep their record signing, it seems, but there is a wide acceptance that we will be seeing more loans and swap deals this summer.

So could the “Ndombele-for-someone” rumour have some foundation, just be wide of the mark with regard to the players involved?

Looking at the two squads, there appear to be several players who could benefit from swapping Antonio Conte for Jose Mourinho or vice-versa.

The two managers play distinctly different tactical formations, but both demand the same levels of consistent brilliance from their players.

Here’s a look at some of the deals which might, on the face of it, make sense for both clubs...

Upgrades at the back

There’s no doubt that Milan Skriniar is one of Europe’s top centre-backs, and that alone may preclude Spurs from having a chance of signing him. He wants, and deserves, to be playing Champions League football.

But Mourinho can make a compelling case to suggest that, with just a few more games in 2019/20, Spurs would have been in the top four. And after next season, if their reinforcements are good, they certainly could be.

If it was Skriniar they wanted, what could Spurs offer Inter? Depth is the answer. Juan Foyth has barely had a look-in and seems suited for neither an attacking right-back nor a solid centre-back role, but playing the hybrid right of three in middle could be ideal.

He’s still being tracked by Barcelona, according to reports, so there’s enough of a player in there to tempt the big teams into a low-risk gamble, but Foyth alone isn’t going to cut it for Spurs.

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Throw in Davinson Sanchez, too, in a two-for-one deal sweetened with a little cash, and Inter might listen.

With Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni and Diego Godin, Inter have talented and committed defenders, but Sanchez could add a little more class on the ball and a little more longevity to how long the backline can stay together.

Increased productivity

Erik Lamela has never managed to recapture the scintillating attacking form which made Spurs pay Roma so much to sign him in the first place.

There, he was a regular scorer and creator, but injuries and inconsistent form have always hampered him, as well as not having a single set role in the Spurs tactical set-up.

Mourinho has used Lamela as a sub as much as a starter, with the Argentinian managing just two 90-minute league outings since early October.

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Would a move back to Serie A suit? There isn’t always the same three-man attack at Inter that he used to play in for Roma. Conte often starts with a 3-5-2 formation, changing to three in attack during the game, but he often plays with a creative central schemer, which might suit Lamela.

Christian Eriksen was signed from Spurs to play in the role, but has been hit and miss, while earlier in the season Stefano Sensi was excellent but has since been injured.

Perhaps a return to the league he first starred in would be appealing to Lamela, while also leaving an attacking space free for the likes of Steven Bergwijn, Gedson Fernandes or Giovani Lo Celso to use more often.

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Of course, if Inter were keen to do a trade involving Lamela, which of their players has the creative guile, the passing consistency to play in central midfield, the aggression to sit in a deep double pivot and the overall experience and level of quality to suit a Mourinho team? Marcelo Brozovic, that’s who.

He has been a regular under Conte, but the suggestion in Italy is that the head coach isn’t happy with the Croatian’s output from the base of midfield, which is exactly how the Ndombele rumours arose in the first place.

Brozovic has been linked with a Premier League move before, notably to Liverpool, but he’d certainly suit Spurs’ 4-2-3-1.

Wing-back swap

Finally, a real out-there choice for a swap on the left side of defence, but it’s not quite as odd as it might appear thanks to Conte’s apparent love of signing slightly older Premier League players.

Danny Rose has no future at Spurs, that’s clear. But he played extremely well at wing-back for Newcastle in the games they used him there. Ashley Young and Victor Moses have been used by Conte in 2020, so Rose would seem a fairly logical progression.

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In return, Mourinho could get a more forward-thinking player on that side of defence. Brazilian Dalbert is the perfect option; he has been playing at left-back and wing-back for Fiorentina for most of the season, but there’s currently no agreement for that to continue into 2020/21.

He might lack the defensive resilience that Ben Davies has, but Mourinho needs different options for different games, and Dalbert could even play left wing at times if required.

Pace, ability on the ball and decent delivery from out wide are all abilities in Dalbert’s skill-set - and might help tee up Harry Kane to score even more goals.




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