As we reported yesterday, what initially seemed like a bogus rumor is shaping up to be the surprise exit of the summer for Roma as French side Rennes continues to press for Nemanja Matic. Matic is a key cog in the Roma setup, but a three-year deal may be too good to pass up for the now 35-year-old Serbian.
And reports from L'Equipe in France contend that Rennes remains confident in making a deal happen, despite an icy reception from the Roma hierarchy, who are irked that the Fench club contacted the player directly without informing Roma first. The report states that Roma will stand firm on their €5 million valuation for Matic, and if that deal comes to pass, Roma will need a replacement lined up for Matic, who is an important piece in Mourinho's midfield rotation.
Yesterday, former Roma man Leandro Paredes was the name on everyone's lips as it was thought Roma could pull a PSG double loan swoop for him and Renato Sanches. However, today a new name has emerged: Tanguy Ndombele of Tottenham.
After spending last season on loan with Napoli, Ndombele is a familiar name to Serie A fans. While he made 30 appearances and eight starts for Luciano Spalletti's title-winning side, he logged only 807 league minutes. After that loan, he finds himself back at Spurs, who purchased him during the summer of 2019 for €62 million from Olympique Lyon.
However, after seeing a limited role during the first part of the 2021-2022 season under Nuno Espirito Santo and Antonio Conte, Ndombele was loaned back to his former side during the spring of 2022. That was followed by the Napoli move mentioned above. And the Frenchman now finds himself on the outs again with new manager Ange Postecoglou in charge.
Ndombele has had an underwhelming last couple of seasons, but it's important to remember José Mourinho is very familiar with him. Mourinho was hired just a few months after Ndombele's transfer, and during Mourinho's second season in charge, he played a prominent role in Spurs' midfield. During the 2020-2021 campaign under Mourinho (until his April firing), Ndombele racked up over 2,000 Premier League minutes in 28 starts (33 appearances) and made 57 appearances for the Special One in just over 18 months.
At just 26 years old, Ndombele has plenty left to give and could find himself rejuvenated playing for Mourinho, given their previous ties. He's reportedly been offered to Roma via intermediaries and could potentially be had on loan with an option to buy, according to calciomercato.com. He has two years left on his deal, but it comes with high wages, £200,000 weekly (via fbref). So any deal would likely have to see Tottenham subsidizing his wages.
While this doesn't seem anywhere near a concrete option for Roma, his previous Mourinho ties and the potential for a loan with an option could see that change quickly if Matic moves to France. So stay tuned.