Spurs set to sign Jack Clarke in €12.8m deal from Leeds
Pochettino has made Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele his number one target
Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele: Spurs have offered the French club an initial €62m plus €3m in add-ons. Photograph: Getty Images
Jack Clarke is on the verge of becoming Tottenham’s first signing of the summer in a deal from Leeds that could be worth €12.8 million if all the add-ons are met. Spurs are ready to pay an initial fee of around €11.1 million, and the 18-year-old winger will undergo his medical on Wednesday.
Clarke has just completed his breakthrough season, quickening the pulse on his first Championship start against Derby in January before his form tailed off after he collapsed in the dugout while watching the second half at Middlesbrough in February.
Mauricio Pochettino is convinced that Clarke has what it takes to step up in the Premier League under his guidance, having seen enough over 22 Championship appearances – only four of which were from the start.
Pochettino is looking to reinvigorate his squad by signing hungry, young players with the potential to improve, and the move for Clarke is independent of the push for another teenage winger – Ryan Sessegnon of Fulham, who is rated in the €27.8 million bracket.
Spurs have an interest in Sessegnon’s twin brother Steven, a right-back who is also at Fulham, and 19-year-old Norwich player Max Aarons is another target in that position. Much will depend on whether Pochettino sells his first choice right-back Kieran Trippier, who is of interest to Napoli among others.
Pochettino’s marque purchase of the summer is set to be Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, who has made it clear that he wants the move to Spurs. The 22-year-old France midfielder has visited the club’s training ground, which greatly impressed him, and he has also spoken to Pochettino, who gave him the hard sell.
Pochettino has come to consider Ndombele his number one target, partly because he needs to replace Mousa Dembélé, who moved to Guangzhou R&F last January, but mainly because of Ndombele’s eye-catching qualities and potential.
Ndombele brings a rare mix of skill, pace and power, and he has been convinced by Pochettino; he is certain that he will be given the playing time and scope to develop under him.
Spurs are willing to shatter their transfer record for Ndombele, having offered Lyon an initial €62 million plus €3 million in add-ons. Negotiations are expected to continue into next week, particularly over the add-ons, but an agreement is close. With funds tight owing to the cost of the stadium project, Spurs could balance the books by selling Christian Eriksen.