Barcelona are ready to muscle their way into the picture for Tottenham target and Atalanta centre back Cristian Romero, according to reports.
Tottenham’s new technical director Fabio Paratici is looking to reshape the squad, with talks continuing over a potential £42m deal for Atalanta’s 23-year-old – which they now hope to get over the line following the departure of Toby Alderweireld.
However, this figure is still far off Atalanta’s £51m asking price for Romero, whose stock is high following his Copa America triumph with Argentina.
It has been reported that Barcelona have been watching Romero’s situation closely for some time, but the Spanish giants are now expected to make a formal bid over the coming days.
Barcelona’s reported interest will ramp up the price of Romero, with Atalanta more than happy to spark a bidding war.
Romero joined Atalanta on loan in September last year from Juventus on a two-year deal, but the Italian side have an option to buy for around £14m which they are set to take up – which means the club are likely to sell him on for a big profit.
However, given Barcelona’s financial mess, it appears unlikely at present that Romero would move to the Nou Camp unless they manage to offload some players to balance their books.
Romero played a key role in helping Atalanta qualify for the Champions League once again at the end of last season.
The centre back scored three goals and made five assists in 42 appearances overall last term.
Romero’s impressive performances saw him crowned Serie A’s ‘Defender of the Season’.