We almost signed Tottenham’s Dembele, Chadli - Lokomotiv chief

The Belgian duo were in the Eastern European outfit’s gaze in January, who could not tie up deals for the pair.

Lokomotiv Moscow president Olga Smorodskaya has claimed that the Russian club were close to signing Tottenham duo Mousa Dembele and Nacer Chadli in January.

The Belgian pair have been part of Mauricio Pochettino’s plans at White Hart Lane this season but it appears that the North London club considered selling one or both at the turn of the year.

Lokotmotiv, who also signed Roman Pavlyuchenko from the North London side in 2012, could well have raided Spurs again.

“We considered Dembele, negotiated with him. We also talked with Chadli from Spurs,” Smorodskaya is quoted as saying by sport.ru.

“The second practically agreed, I had mentally congratulated him [on becoming a Lokomotiv player]. But it did not happen – at the last moment he changed his mind.”

Given that Dembele has been largely a fringe figure this season and has only started nine Premier League games this season, it would not have been hugely surprising to see the former Fulham playmaker leave to move to Russia.

However, with Chadli improving significantly this term and obviously a key player in the starting XI for the majority of fixtures, Spurs allowing him to leave would have been something of a shock.

The ex-Twente winger came in for criticism from Steve Claridge at the weekend following his display against QPR.

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