With his performances for Lyon this season, Tanguy Ndombélé has grabbed the attention of some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
The Frenchman has been integral to Lyon this season, with his unique blend of technical ability and physicality causing problems for opposition teams – particularly Manchester City in both of their Champions League ties earlier this season.
With speculation rife over a potential summer exit, here’s a rundown of the teams who’ve been linked with Ndombélé throughout this season and how likely a move to each club actually is.
Whilst Moussa Sissoko has had his best campaign at Tottenham, the north London side are lacking in depth and quality in central midfield. Harry Winks also had an excellent campaign but Eric Dier has suffered with injuries and has regressed this season.
Victor Wanyama, meanwhile, has also suffered with injuries and has been out of favour for the majority of the campaign. All of these central midfielders are more defensive minded players and with Mauricio Pochettino expecting funds to be available this summer, the Champions League semi-finalists could make an offer for Ndombélé.
However, the biggest stumbling block for Spurs will be their wage structure. Tottenham look to be assured of a place in the Champions League, barring a disaster in their final two Premier League games but have spent very little money in recent years and cannot match the wages paid by the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United or PSG.
Although they retain an interest in the Frenchman, they may not have the financial resources to make the deal happen.
Likelihood rating: 4/10
Ndombélé would bolster this PSG side in an area which is considered one of the weakest in the team. Manager Thomas Tuchel has struggled to find a consistent midfield partnership with Dani Alves, Marquinhos and Ángel Di María all being used as make-shift central midfielders at times this season, while Adrien Rabiot will be leaving on a free transfer in the summer.
This will leave Marco Verratti, Leandro Paredes and Christopher Nkunku as the only recognised central midfielders at the club. Despite heavy investment into the team, central midfield is an area that has been neglected by PSG and signing Ndombélé would weaken one of their biggest rivals whilst strengthening themselves simultaneously
PSG have been listed by Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas as one of the clubs in the running for Ndombélé but considering the rivalry between the clubs, it is unlikely that the 22-year-old will be sold to Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Likelihood rating: 5/10
Ndombélé delivered two eye-catching performances against Manchester City in the group stages of the Champions League, notably helping his side beat the Premier League leaders at the Etihad.
Fernandinho has been in magnificent form for Manchester City in recent seasons but now 33, the Citizens are known on the lookout for a young central midfielder. With İlkay Gündoğan proving in City’s title run-in that he is more than an apt direct replacement for Fernandinho in the holding role, City could look to sign Ndombélé to play on the right-side of central midfield, where Gündoğan has previously played.
City, however, seem to be diverting their attention towards Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri and consequently may abandon any attempt to pursue Ndombélé. Furthermore, City have an abundance of talent in central areas with the aforementioned two as well as David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden, so Ndombélé may struggle to get regular playing time.
Likelihood rating: 6/10
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has confirmed that Manchester United are also interested in signing the 22-year-old, with the Red Devils expected to undergo a midfield overhaul this summer.
Ander Herrera has being strongly linked with a summer exit to PSG and constant speculation linking Paul Pogba with a move away from the club refuses to go away.
Fred, meanwhile, has endured a poor debut season at Old Trafford whilst Nemanja Matic‘s best days appear to be behind him. Scott McTominay has applied himself well under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but doesn’t look to be the long-term central midfield solution for United.
Ndombélé may want to be playing Champions League football next season and this may count against United as they are currently in sixth-place in the Premier League, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with an inferior goal-difference.
However, the club has shown previously that they are able to attract big-name players without the allure of Champions League football. In the summer of 2016, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrived at Old Trafford when the the club was set to spend a campaign in the Europa League.
Likelihood rating: 7/10
Jean-Michel Aulas named Juventus as one of the clubs interested in signing Ndombélé and said that he would like the midfielder to join the Serie A champions – so this instantly makes the Italian giants one of the favourites to sign the 22-year-old Frenchman.
The prospect of lining up alongside Cristiano Ronaldo makes Juventus an attractive proposition in the market for any player and their spending in recent years shows that they are able to pay large transfer fees and wages, which Ndombélé’s transfer is likely to bring.
However, there is uncertainty surrounding the future of manager Massimiliano Allegri and this could dissuade him from choosing Juventus.
Likelihood rating: 8/10
With reports that Real Madrid have opened talks with Ndombélé’s representatives, Los Blancos appear to be in pole position to sign the Frenchman.
Luka Modric and Toni Kroos have been an integral part of a Real side that won four European Cups in five years but have struggled this season and with both players aged 29 and over, Real’s midfield is badly lacking in pace, energy and athleticism, all of which Ndombélé can provide.
With his compatriot Zidane at the helm, Ndombélé could be provided with a mentor who helps him adapt to a new league and new country, this could be the deciding factor in the Frenchman’s choice of new club.
Likelihood rating: 9/10