Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte remains keen to bring Ruslan Malinovskyi to north London ahead of the January transfer window…
What’s the word?
That’s according to Corriere di Bergamo (via Sport Witness), who claim that Spurs are prepared to offer €15m (£13m) for his signature at the turn of the year, though Atalanta are holding out for a little more at around €18m (£16m).
The Ukraine international is out of contract in the summer and has rarely been used by manager Gian Piero Gasperini this season.
Conte and sporting director Fabio Paratici nearly signed him during the summer and are still keen to make him a Lilywhites player, though they may need to increase their bid to secure him.
Should Spurs pay £16m for Malinovskyi in January?
Spurs appear to be pretty well stocked in the final third but a recent injury to Richarlison may have changed things somewhat. The side recently suffered in the absence of Dejan Kulusevski and that can’t happen again in the second half of the season.
Malinovskyi bears some similarities to the Swedish winger, though he could be a more versatile option as he’s capable of playing in a multitude of attacking and deeper midfield roles.
Last season for example, the 29-year-old netted 10 goals and laid on seven assists from 41 appearances in all competitions, and did so playing in four different central roles and on the right flank, as per Transfermarkt.
His ability to create chances and relentless work rate is what would lend a comparison to Kulusevski as the Atalanta ace ranks inside the top 4% for progressive passes (5.72), the top 8% for assists (0.41) as well as shot-creating actions (5.19) and the top 15% for successful dribbles (2.27) per 90 when compared to his positional peers across Europe in the last year, via FBref.
These are all key attributes of the Spurs right-winger and in fact, he only currently outranks Malinovskyi for assists per 90 (0.61).
The £21.8k-per-week dynamo would also offer Conte a long-range threat at goal – something that he only really gains from Heung-min Son – as he’s renowned for scoring the odd screamer, with his left foot previously being lauded as a “cannon” by commentator Tony Dorigo.
Also hailed as an “animal” by journalist Fernando Evangelio, it’s clear to see why the Italian would still remain keen on signing Malinovskyi for Tottenham.
As such, Paratici must look to pay the £16m that La Dea want for his signature, even if he’s out of contract in the summer because the squad needs strength in depth if they are to challenge on all fronts in 2023.
AND in other news, Spurs could seal Conte’s perfect Maddison alternative in Jan swoop for £30.5m “beast”…