‘Conte big fan of Udogie’


Peter Akinbo

Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has claimed that although Tottenham Hotspur could have signed Pervis Estupinan this summer, they made the move for Italian-Nigerian Destiny Udogie instead because Spurs boss Antonio Conte is a big fan of the 19-year-old.

Tottenham initially strengthened the left wing-back position with the signing of Ivan Perisic on a free transfer at the start of the summer after the Croatian’s contract with Inter Milan ran out.

The 33-year-old is expected to compete with Ryan Sessegnon for a place in Conte’s starting 11 this season.

Last week, Spurs agreed a fee of £18m, including add-ons, with Udinese for Udogie, with the North London club loaning the 19-year-old back to the Serie A club for the 2022/23 season.

Estupinan was said to be on Tottenham’s radar earlier this summer for the same position, with Marca reporting last month that the Lilywhites were leading the race for the 24-year-old.

Brighton have now snapped him up for £15m from Villarreal, with the left-back replacing Marc Cucurella, who joined Chelsea earlier this summer.

Romano has suggested that it was Conte who pushed for Tottenham to sign Udogie, rather than the former Villarreal man.

The journalist said on the Here We Go Podcast “Udogie is a signing for the future, he’s signed the contract and will join next summer, he’s going back on loan to Udinese now. Let me say that behind the scenes why Tottenham decided to sign Udogie now.

“They had the possibility to sign Estupinan from Villarreal who is joining Brighton, but they went for Udogie because Antonio Conte is a big fan of this guy.

“(Fabio) Paratici has been following him since he was at Verona, before Udinese, and he knows that many important clubs in Italy, Juventus and Inter, were following Udogie, so he wanted to sign Udogie immediately.”