Tottenham transfer chief Fabio Paratici eyes trademark signing after Barcelona contact
Tottenham have reportedly made contact with Barcelona over the possibility of signing Miralem Pjanic. Midfielder Pjanic had a tough first season at Barca following his arrival from Juventus last summer. And Barca are now keen to shift the 31-year-old off their wage bill as they attempt to make room for Lionel Messi’s new contract.
Messi is officially a free agent after his contract expired at midnight on July 1.
There is every expectation Messi will sign a new deal but Barca are desperate to get unwanted players off their books.
Pjanic is one of those after making just six La Liga stars under Ronald Koeman last term.
And Spanish outlet AS claims Spurs are interested in signing the former Juve star.
AS says Tottenham have made contact with Pjanic regarding a move to north London, though he would prefer a return to Italy.
Meanwhile, Mundo Deportivo says Pjanic has been given a ‘letter of freedom’, meaning he can leave for no transfer fee.
And, as Sport Witness points out, a deal of that kind is typical of Spurs’ new managing director of football Fabio Paratici.
Paratici has been brought in to head up Tottenham’s transfer business.
And during his 11 years in a similar role at Juve, he became known for signing players on free transfers.
Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba, Fernando Llorente and Aaron Ramsey are among the players to have signed for Juve for no transfer fee during Paratici’s reign at the club.
And Pjanic would add to that reputation if he became a Tottenham player this summer.
Pjanic still has three years remaining on his Barca contract but Koeman does not see him as part of his plans.
Mundo Deportivo says Pjanic is not the only player who has been told he can leave Barca for free.
Defender Samuel Umtiti has also received a ‘letter of freedom’ from the Nou Camp club.
Tottenham have been linked with Umtiti in the past but there is no mention they will reignite any interest in the player.
Tottenham are keen to strengthen in defence, with Bologna’s Takehiro Tomiyasu a target.
Spurs are said to have seen an offer of around £12.9m turned down by the Serie A club.
Tomiyasu could be a replacement for Toby Alderweireld, who The Athletic claims wants to leave Spurs in this window.