Antonio Conte: In profile
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Jose Mourinho has moved to tie down Roma star Ebrima Darboe on a longer contract following reported transfer interest from Tottenham. Darboe was linked with Spurs last month but it now seems the midfielder will be staying put in Rome instead of joining Antonio Conte’s side in January.
Tottenham are expected to be busy in the mid-season transfer window after hiring Conte to replace Nuno Espirito Santo.
The former Inter Milan boss is usually reluctant to take jobs once the season has already started because he likes to have a say in recruitment.
Conte is therefore keen to bolster his squad in the January transfer window and will entrust sporting director Fabio Paratici with the task.
The former Juventus chief has links to Serie A and was interested in Roma midfielder Darboe, according to TuttoMercato.
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The 20-year-old came through the Roma academy and has only made 10 appearances for the first team so far.
Darboe has made just four appearances this season, three of which have come in the Europa Conference League – including the embarrassing 6-1 defeat by Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt last month.
However, Calciomercato say Mourinho has seen enough to convince him of the Gambian midfielder’s talents.
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Roma blocked efforts by other clubs to take Darboe on loan in the summer and are now trying to tie him down on a four-year contract extension.
Mourinho certainly needs some improved performances from his Roma players, with the side currently sixth in Serie A, 13 points adrift of leaders Napoli.
Roma have won just three of their last 10 games in all competitions and Mourinho has been vocal over his disappointment in the performances of many of his players.
Tottenham, meanwhile, appear likely to look to Italy for reinforcements in the January transfer window, given Paratici and Conte’s background.
The Times reported recently that Inter duo Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolo Barella, AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie and Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic were all on the agenda.
The report stated that while Inter don’t want to sell Bastoni or Barella, they would be open to offloading centre-backs Stefan de Vrij, 29, and Milan Skriniar, 26, to their former manager.
Kessie is expected to leave AC Milan in 2022 and has been linked with several clubs, while Vlahovic is in high demand right across the continent.
The 21-year-old has 18 months left on his deal but recently rejected the chance to become Fiorentina’s highest ever earner by signing a new contract.
Vlahovic has scored eight goals in 12 Serie A appearances this season after netting 21 in the 2020/21 season.
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