Tottenham are “ready to meet” salary demands from Serbian defender Nikola Maksimovic, who appears ready for a move away from Napoli this month.
The 29-year-old center-back has entered the final six months of his contract and has struggled for minutes at Napoli this season. He was a regular in their Europa League group campaign, but managed just seven Serie A appearances, largely playing third fiddle against Kostas Manolas and Kalidou Koulibaly.
It is understood that the Italian team are ready to sell him now in order to avoid losing him for free this summer, and Spurs have recently emerged as a contender. Those ties took another step forward, as Italian journalist Gianluigi Longari dropped his name in the frame when discussing the potential estrangement of Maksimovic and full-back Elseid Hysaj.
Longari told Il Napoli Online: “About Hysaj, I have more hope, while I believe that Maksimovic will leave. On him there are many teams ready to satisfy him even economically, including Tottenham. ”
Longari’s update is ambiguous in that it doesn’t say whether Spurs plan to sign him this month or are in talks on a pre-contract deal before next season.
Longari appears to believe he will be leaving this month, but a pre-contract may make more sense from Tottenham’s perspective – Napoli’s reported demands of £ 13.5million appear stiff for an approaching center-back of 30 years with six months to conclude his agreement.
With several other clubs in the frame, however, it can come down to what the player would prefer. He has been low key about his future and there is no indication he will force a move prematurely, but with the prospect of limited football by the end of the season, he could favor a move to a side willing to do so. . sign it now, rather than leaving it to chance.
He has also been linked with a move to Liverpool, although Jurgen Klopp has been keen to pour cold water on suggestions to do business this month, even though they are badly in need of defensive reinforcements.
What Spurs can afford to do may well depend on the future of Dele Alli, on which the north London side have yet to make a decision. PSG interest has grown with Mauricio Pochettino now at the helm in Paris, but Tottenham are in two minds over the underprivileged midfielder, and a report from The Mirror suggests they are keeping the French side waiting.
A decision is expected shortly and could shape their transfer plans for the final week of the window.