The inside track on Tanguy Ndombele’s final 36 hours as a Lyon player

L’Équipe have produced a report this morning offering the inside track on Tanguy Ndombele’s final 36 hours as a Lyon player, before officially joining Tottenham Hotspur for €60m + €10m in bonuses on a 6-year deal yesterday afternoon.

When he arrived in London on Monday with his agents, Ndombele was still far from signing with Spurs, according to the report. Yes, last week a new discussion between the Frenchman and Ndombele, brought the Frenchman to ok a move to Tottenham in principle, but the two hour voyage to the British capital was made in order to validate in his mind that he was making the right call.

Ndombele did not expect to finalise the deal when he did – he travelled to London without any specific items of clothes for the unveiling.

Since yesterday, the French international is a Tottenham player, bringing the end to a saga that lasted for several months. When he arrived on international duty on 11th June, he wanted to make a decision on his future, but insisted on not being privy to any negotiations, so that he could concentrate on his country.

Juventus at this point, who had had multiple meetings with his entourage over several months, were on the verge of agreeing a contract with the player, 5 weeks before Spurs eventually put themselves in the same position. What changed is that Juve asked for more time and Tottenham took advantage.

At the end of June, meetings in London occurred discreetly – Mauricio Pochettino, accompanied by his assistant and francophone (thus also translator) Miguel D’Agostino, made a strong impression on Ndombele. Poch talked ambitions, specific positioning, how he would be used, methods of work – with his no bull**** attitude, Ndombele was convinced. Pochettino said the following to the player: “I know that it is going to be difficult but I want to keep you as the Tanguy that you are. The Tanguy who pushes on, who breaks the lines.”

Pochettino told the player that he wants to keep his free style, but insisted that he must improve his final pass. In the meantime, Juventus, who signed Adrien Rabiot, continued to ask to delay. Manchester United also reached out to the player to request that he give them more time too, as they wanted to sort out Paul Pogba’s situation first. There was also a meeting with ex-PSG Sporting Director Antero Henrique in May, but he is no longer at the club and Ndombele wasn’t a priority for Leonardo.

Daniel Levy convinced Aulas to do a deal last weekend – the next stage was finding a contractual agreement with the agents of the player: Mounir Sidhoum and Romain Fernandez. And in the first hours of negotiations, Levy said the following: “You are not leaving here without having signed with us,” with a devilish grin on his face.

Hours passed by, negotiations remained intense – aided by Rebecca Caplehorn, Tottenham’s Head of Operations since 2015, Levy did not give in to many or any demands, but Ndombele’s clan did not compromise either. Talks failed to conclude positively on Monday night, and just 6 hours of sleep stood between the end of negotiations on Monday and their restarting on Tuesday morning. Levy at the same time was negotiating to bring in Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis.

For Ndombele, as of Tuesday morning, all parties began to build a consensus – Ndombele’s clan were achieving their aim: make their client one of the best paid players at Tottenham.

At the end of yesterday morning, contract talks concluded, and at 14:45, Ndombele signed his signature on the dozens of pages that required it. His shirt number has not yet been decided upon and will depend on other movements inside the Tottenham squad. He will be back in 9 days for pre-season on the 12th July.


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