Tottenham Hotspur have been rebuffed in an approach for Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodrigo de Paul, according to journalist Giacomo Iacobellis.
Spurs have made five additions to their squad so far this summer, with forward Richarlison, midfielder Yves Bissouma, wing-back Ivan Perisic, goalkeeper Fraser Forster and centre-back Clement Lenglet all joining.
But still the recruitment drive continues, with Middlesbrough’s Djed Spence poised to be signing number six, and De Paul contacted too.
It was only last summer that the Argentine made a £31.5million move from Udinese to Atletico.
De Paul made 48 appearances in his first season at the Wanda Metropolitano, including 24 La Liga starts.
He predominantly played as the left centre midfielder in a 4-4-2 formation, alongside Geoffrey Kondogbia.
Iacobellis tweeted that De Paul had ‘rejected several offers because he wants to stay’ with Atletico Madrid.
He ‘received calls’ from Spurs, while Fiorentina gave him the opportunity to return to Serie A.
De Paul is a midfielder who fashions dangerous situations. He ranks in the 93rd percentile across Europe for expected assists per 90 minutes, the 91st for progressive passes and the 87th for progressive carries (via FBRef).
In terms of profile, he’s similar to Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic and Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans.
And he would also bring real pedigree, having featured in the 2021 Copa America Team of the Tournament after Argentina’s triumph.
He’s labelled one of compatriots, Spurs’ Giovani Lo Celso, a ‘magician‘, but it seems that the move isn’t going to be possible right now unless the player’s stance changes.
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