Erik Lamela is set to enter contract negotiations with Roma this week with the knowledge that Tottenham Hotspur are keen to bring him to the Premier League if he fails to agree terms with the Seria A side.
The 21 year old Argentine is seen as one of the shining lights of Roma’s squad but Franco Baldini, who joined Spurs as technical director from Roma this summer, has been reporting Lamela’s strengths to Andre Villas-Boas all summer as well as having full knowledge of the winger’s contract.
Lamela earns around £1million a year on his current contract which runs until 2016 and while Roma are happy to offer him more after two stellar seasons in Rome since joining from River Plate in 2011 for a few of around £10million.
The twice capped Argentine international score 15 times in 33 league appearances last season for Roma but failed to help them reach European football this season as they fell to sixth in the league and runners up in the Coppa Italia.
Spurs would likely have to break their club transfer record for the third time this summer if they are to bring Lamela to White Hart Lane, with Gazzetta Dello Sport quoting a price of £30million for the player so the deal is likely to be contingent on the future of Gareth Bale.
Tottenham management and officials are still resistant to selling Bale to Real Madrid this summer despite the world record fee of £85million being widely quoted as Madrid’s opening bid.
Chairman Daniel Levy is sceptical about Madrid’s ability to pay enough of the fee upfront and won’t be tied into a long repayment process that sees transfers overly diminished by inflation, coupled with that is Madrid’s valuation of players to be included in the transfer, Fabio Coentrao and Angel Di Maria.
Madrid proposed the pair as being worth in the region of £35million worth of the deal but Spurs baulked at that evaluation, countering that Spanish under 21 star Alvaro Morata as a more suitable make weight, despite Villas-Boas interest in Coentrao as a replacement for Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Madrid president Florentino Perez would be hard pressed to part with Morata though as the player is seen by many in Spain as a future star of the international set up.
The feeling in Madrid is now that the deal will not go through this summer unless Bale makes his position at Tottenham untenable, an unlikely outcome as Villas-Boas has already suggested that he is preparing to start the season without the Welshman who has not trained with his teammates in three weeks.
For the moment Spurs appear happy to ride out Madrid’s interest.