It feels that Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with Fiorentina midfielder Milan Badelj for as long as the concept of a gossip column has existed. However, according to FirenzeViola, their long-standing interest could come to nothing with Manchester United ready to swoop for the Croatian in the summer.
The 27-year-old, whose blend of technical excellent and tenacity in the challenge made him one of the standout midfielders at Euro 2016, only has 18 months left to run on his current deal with La Viola and it has been clear for some time that he has no interested in extending his stay in Florence.
And FirenzeViola report that Tottenham could be gazumped by Champions League chasing rivals Manchester United in the summer with the Red Devils having sent scouts to watch Badelj in action on a number of occasions recently as Jose Mourinho aims to close the gap to the top of the table.
The publication reports that Fiorentina would accept an offer of around £12 million but news of United’s interest is bad news for Spurs’ chances of finally signing a player that first emerged on their radar all the way back in 2011, according to the Daily Mail.
The report suggested that Tottenham had identified the then Dinamo Zagreb youngster as the ideal replacement for wantaway playmaker Luka Modric but, on the upside, Spurs’ desire for a new central midfielder appears a lot less pressing these days.
After all, the fearsome performances of Victor Wanyama (below) and Mousa Dembele as a powerful midfield axis have even forced Eric Dier, one of the Premier League’s best performers last season, back into defence.