Atalanta have knocked back an opening bid from Tottenham Hotspur for 23-year-old centre-back Cristian Romero.
Spurs are looking to rejuvenate at the back as Toby Alderweireld prepares to seal an exit to Al-Duhail, and after failing with a move for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, the focus has turned to Romero and talks are well underway between the two sides.
It was recently claimed that Spurs had tabled an opening offer for Romero worth €40m (£34.1m) plus €10m (£8.5m) in add-ons, and that has been backed up by La Gazzetta dello Sport, who go a little further and state that the bid has been rejected.
Atalanta are open to selling the defender but would only do so for a sizeable offer. It is understood they are looking for closer to €55m (£47m), but the main problem for Spurs is that Atalanta want all that money paid up front.
There’s obviously not a lot between the two sides’ valuations of Romero, but with Atalanta insisting on full payment up front, Spurs may struggle to meet the Italian side’s demands.
It seems as though Spurs only have around £30m to offer up for a new defender this summer. They presented that figure to Sevilla in exchange for Kounde but had to subsidise their bid by offering up Davinson Sanchez in exchange – only to fail to convince the Frenchman to join anyway.
Spurs’ next move here is not clear. They are set to bring in an extra £13m by selling Alderweireld and extra funds could also be raised by selling Sanchez, Lucas Moura or Serge Aurier, but whether that money could be reinvested in the squad is unknown.
Chairman Daniel Levy isn’t exactly known for throwing around that kind of money, so there is a chance he could pull out of talks over Romero and instead pursue a cheaper option elsewhere.
There have been plenty of names linked with a move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium; alongside Kounde, Spurs also hold interest in Inter’s Milan Skriniar, Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic and Wolfsburg’s Maxence Lacroix.
Spurs have also been tipped to move for Lyon’s Joachim Andersen, but the Dane is expected to choose Crystal Palace as his next club.