Tottenham have targeted £30m Roma winger Erik Lamela as they prepare for life without Gareth Bale, who is 7/10 to make the move from north London to Real Madrid before the transfer window closes.
21-year-old Argentina international Lamela – who almost signed for Barcelona as a 12-year-old – was on fire last season in Serie A, scoring 15 goals and laying on five assists as Roma secured a top-six finish and made it to the final of the Coppa Italia, where they lost to city rivals Lazio.
Like Bale, Lamela likes to play wide on either the left or the right and cut inside, has plenty of pace and dribbling prowess and clinical finishing ability, which has also seen him compared to Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo during his two seasons in Italy.
New Spurs technical director Franco Baldini had a chance to view Lamela at close quarters during his two-year spell in the same role at the Stadio Olimpico and his links with the Giallorossi have put Tottenham in the driving seat to secure the former River Plate youngster’s services.
With around £60m already splurged this summer on Etienne Capoue, Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and Roberto Soldado it is difficult to see the normally-frugal Tottenham hierarchy sanctioning another bank-busting bid unless they are resigned to losing Bale, who is reportedly unhappy about how Spurs have handled negotiations with Madrid and confused as to why the potentially world-record fee has not been accepted.
The capture of Lamela would soften the blow of losing last season’s PFA and Football Writers’ Association player of the year, with Spurs 17/10 to go one better than last year and qualify for the Champions League through a top four finish.