Tottenham defender Japhet Tanganga is reportedly keen on joining Serie A giants AC Milan, with talks between the two clubs over an initial loan deal ongoing.
According to Italian outlet Calciomercato, AC Milan seem to have become the front-runners to sign Tottenham Hotspur defender Japhet Tanganga, with the 23-year-old keen on joining the Serie A champions in the summer transfer window.
A Tottenham academy graduate, Tanganga was primed for big things when he burst onto the scene under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho. Since then, though, injuries have held him back and he has never been able to truly prove his worth. The versatile centre-back, who can also play out wide, has appeared pretty much everywhere at the back for the Lilywhites, and in different systems.
His incredible versatility can be a blessing to help him earn vital minutes. But now that Tanganga is no longer a young academy star, it can also be a curse, as the Englishman struggled to hold down a regular first-team place at any specific position last season, making 19 appearances in all competitions, seemingly suggesting his future lies away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Tanganga is set to fall further down the pecking order after the north Londoners signed Clement Lenglet on loan from Barcelona. So, a move away from Tottenham in search of more playing time would be ideal for him right now.
Tottenham are open to sanctioning a departure for the out-of-favour defender, who still has three years left on his Spurs contract and is a man in demand in the transfer market. A variety of clubs, including Celtic, AC Milan, AS Monaco, and Bournemouth, are all interested in securing Tanganga’s services.
But it seems the player has his heart set on joining the Serie A champions and has turned down offers from Premier League clubs, with Milan reported to be his preferred destination. The Rossoneri are keen to snap up Tanganga as they have identified him as the perfect replacement for former skipper Alessio Romagnoli, who has joined rivals Lazio on a free transfer.
Per Calciomercato, the likes of Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara have held talks with Fabio Paratici to understand all the costs involved in a deal for Tanganga, as they do want to bolster their defensive ranks, but perhaps at a cheaper price. So it does seem that Tanganga is keen to make the switch to San Siro possible at all costs.
However, there are still stumbling blocks, especially the terms of the deal and payment structure. AC Milan would like to sign Tanganga on a season-long loan deal with an option to buy him permanently next year, but Tottenham are demanding an obligation as well as a future buy-back clause.
Milan have already seen Newcastle United pinch primary defensive target Sven Botman. As a result, they are currently concentrating all of their efforts and resources on getting a deal over the line for Charles De Ketelaere, putting Tanganga talks on the back burner. Still, the Serie A giants remain confident of reaching a total agreement with Tottenham down the line, with the player pushing for a move to San Siro.