Tanguy Ndombele is said to be considering his future at Tottenham amid interest from Barcelona.
A source close to the France midfielder has told Sky Sports News that, although he has no problems with Spurs nor manager Jose Mourinho, Ndombele is currently unsettled after a difficult start to life in the Premier League.
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The player is said to have been very disappointed at the way he was publicly singled out for criticism for his performance against Burnley, in which he was hauled off at half-time and then warned by Mourinho he was running out of opportunities to impress.
Mourinho and Spurs remain determined to get the best out of the club’s £54m record-signing from Lyon, but the player’s ongoing wavering appears to have alerted Barcelona, who are hoping to add a battling midfielder to their squad in the next transfer window.
Sky Sports News reported last week that the Catalan club had offered Spurs the chance to sign defenders Samuel Umtiti and Nelson Semedo, via intermediaries, as they look to secure a swap or part-exchange deal for Ndombele.
It was subsequently reported elsewhere that Spurs have no intention of selling him this summer, and Ndombele appeared to play things down by commenting “nothing to report” on a social media post of his Tottenham highlights over the weekend – but there appears to be work to do to settle the player after a tumultuous first campaign in England.
The 23-year-old is currently living alone in London during the coronavirus lockdown, and he was recently taken out to a local park for personalised training with Mourinho, in what appeared to be a show of commitment to improving the player’s fitness and confidence from the head coach.
A disruptive first season, in which manager Mauricio Pochettino was sacked and both Ndombele and the team struggled for form due to injuries, appears to have impacted on the Frenchman – but the source claimed his fitness issues have been mostly down to the increased intensity of the Premier League from Ligue 1.
It was also pointed out that Ndombele is not the first, nor will he be the last, foreign player to take time to adjust to the rigours of England’s top flight.
Ndombele has produced some impressive displays at times this season – praised by Mourinho as “phenomenal” following the draw at Norwich in December – but he was not given the chance to improve after Burnley; dropped to the bench for the Champions League exit to RB Leipzig – Spurs’ last game before football was suspended.
After the 1-1 draw at Turf Moor, which saw Spurs drop further away from the Champions League places, Mourinho summed up Ndombele’s travails to Sky Sports but still insisted he could come good.
“I think somebody has to realise that this is the Premier League, and this is a new experience, and the first time he comes to Burnley, and I hope next season he can be fantastic because until now it is not enough,” he said.
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