Tottenham will have to beat a convincing effort from AC Milan to sign teenage Monaco midfielder Mamadou Coulibaly, according to a report.
The 17-year-old has yet to make his debut for his Ligue 1 employers but has nevertheless attracted attention. Indeed, Spurs director of football Fabio Paratici reportedly has the midfielder on his transfer radar.
Paratici wants Coulibaly in as part of a two-pronged Tottenham transfer strategy. While the Premier League club want young, exciting signings for the future, they are also looking to sign players whose contracts are close to expiring.
Coulibaly fits both boxes, with the Monaco player’s deal running out in June. Monaco are looking for him to stay but are equally aware of the significant interest in him.
And according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Coulibaly’s list of suitors is growing. Serie A title-chasers Milan are putting together a convincing pitch they hope can secure them a deal.
Like Tottenham, Milan are focusing on young talents who have a wealth of potential.
However, they have promised that they will give Coulibaly immediate game time. They hope that he can soon become one of the ‘stable elements’ in the first team.
Milan are also chasing Paris-born Coulibaly amid uncertainty over Franck Kessie’s contract. The Ivory Coast star is approaching the end of his current deal, but there are still no concrete signs of an extension.
Coulibaly in demand amid Camavinga comparison
Milan director Paolo Maldini and chief scout Geoffrey Moncada have reportedly ‘long set their sights’ on Coulibaly as Kessie’s heir.
In fact, Gazzetta dello Sport likens the player to Real Madrid midfielder Eduardo Camavinga.
Coulibaly’s fellow Frenchman, who is also still a teenager, has impressed following his breakthrough at Rennes and subsequent move to Spain last summer.
As well as Milan and Tottenham, Manchester City, Juventus and a number of German clubs are monitoring Coulibaly’s situation.
At his current age of 17, he can leave Monaco by paying a ‘training allowance’ to the club. However, he turns 18 in April which will give him a clearer picture over his future.
Tottenham have mixed transfer history
Spurs have a reputation of signing young talents and turning them into regular first-team stars.
Dele Alli has proven to be the greatest example at the club, the midfielder signing from MK Dons under Mauricio Pochettino.
He subsequently blossomed and became a regular England international.
More recently, though, Spurs tried their luck again – not with as much success – with Bryan Gil.
The former Sevilla man has indeed gone back to La Liga on loan with Valencia after struggling to make his mark.
In fact, Spurs boss Antonio Conte sent him away as part of what he called a “very strange” Tottenham January transfer window.