Lionel Messi made late Tottenham transfer request amid Barcelona exit



Tottenham are in the midst of a busy summer transfer window as new boss Nuno Espirito Santo aims to get his side into contention for the coveted top-four spots next season.

The Portuguese coach has already added Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini on loan, as well as signing Spanish playmaker Bryan Gil, who joined the club in a player-plus-cash deal that involved Argentine winger Erik Lamela.

Footballing director Fabio Paratici has also offloaded the likes of Juan Foyth and Toby Alderweireld for a combined £25million as the Italian looks to re-shape the north London club’s defence ahead of their opening Premier League fixture against Manchester City, which takes place in just over a weeks time.

As first reported by football.london last month, Spurs have been keen on signing Gollini’s former Atalanta teammate Cristian Romero, who was named as Serie A’s best defender last season following a stellar campaign with the Italian outfit.

Romero’s underlying numbers were extremely impressive last term, averaging 2.92 tackles, 2.75 interceptions and 4.06 successful aerial duels per game last season. Comparatively, no Spurs centre-back came remotely close to any of these three defensive actions across the 2020/21 campaign.

The 23-year-old is now nearing a move to N17, with the two clubs reportedly agreeing on a fee in the region of £43million for the tough-tackling Argentine, a transfer that would make him Tottenham’s second most expensive signing ever after Tanguy Ndombele.

However, football.london understands that Romero’s international team-mate Lionel Messi had urged Barcelona to make a move for his compatriot before the talented centre-back eventually agreed on a move to the Lillywhites instead.

In fact, Messi is now a free agent after the Catalan club confirmed that the footballing icon would be leaving the Nou Camp this summer after a new contract for the 34-year-old proved to be an impossible task given their current financial struggles.





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