Barcelona Reportedly Considering Tanguy Ndombele as Transfer Alternative

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2018

Tanguy Ndombele of Olympique Lyonnais during the UEFA Champions League group E match between TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Olympique Lyonnais at Rhein-Neckar-Arena on October 23, 2018 in Sinsheim, Germany(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Barcelona are reportedly looking at Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele as an option in the summer should they miss out on their primary transfer targets.

According to Sport, the Blaugrana have been impressed by the developments made by the France international. In the event they were unable to bring in Paris Saint-Germain star Adrien Rabiot of Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong, they would turn to the Lyon tyro.

"Barca have been keeping tabs on Ndombele after finding it tough to finalise the transfer of Rabiot," Sport said. "It also isn't going to be easy to secure a move for De Jong either. Real Madrid have joined the race for the Dutch midfielder as well as Manchester City, two sides with a rich history of spending more on transfers than most."

Barcelona director of football Eric Abidal is said to have held talks with the Catalan giants over a possible acquisition of Ndombele. City are also reported to be interested in the player, who is valued at around €60 million (£53 million) by the Ligue 1 side.

Ndombele was recently asked about his future and said he will leave the decision up to those in positions of authority at the club.

"I won't close the door on a move to any club," he told L'Equipe (h/t Sport). "It's the chairman who will decide."

The 21-year-old was rewarded for his impressive start to the season with a call-up to the France squad, making his debut against Iceland in a 2-2 draw in October. French football journalist Jeremy Smith suggested the call was a long time coming:

Jeremy Smith @jeremysmith98

No arguments with these. Laporte has long since deserved a call up; Mendy improving all the time (if still makes rash challenges in his own area) and still no other options, except Digne; and Ndombele is just immense and would be pushing for a call-up even with Tolisso fit. https://t.co/43GON03yQ5

For Lyon this season, he already has two goals and four assists from 17 appearances. At the moment, the former Amiens player is really relishing his outings in the UEFA Champions League:

OptaJean @OptaJean

2 - Tanguy Ndombele 🇫🇷 has scored his 2nd goal in the Champions League 🏆 in only 4 games (with 2 shots on target). He has never scored in 47 Ligue 1 games. Europe. #OLHOF https://t.co/gPoXEl1hGM

While increased productivity has been a trend of Ndombele's rise so far this season, he's made strides in so many different areas.

Ndombele has been a box-to-box presence for Lyon in 2018-19. While he can occasionally switch off defensively, he's an energetic footballer who relishes a tackle. When he has the ball, he can accelerate away from opposition markers and is showing more composure when it comes to his choices in advanced areas.

It's expected he will improve, with Scouted Football noting his career has been on a consistent upwards trajectory as of late:

Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl

Over the past two years, Tanguy Ndombélé has performed to a very high level in Ligue 2, Ligue 1, and European competition. Moreover, he has a number of standout big game performances to his name too, against the likes of PSG, OM and Manchester City. This is a worthwhile reward. https://t.co/soUUDSAmlX

Stylistically Ndombele is more comparable with Rabiot, as they like to break forward in support of attacks. De Jong is a midfielder who will sit in front of the defence and maintain a relatively fixed position from where he can dictate the course of play.

With Rabiot's contract set to expire at the end of the current season, he will likely have numerous suitors, whereas according to David Anderson of the Daily Mirror, the likes of Barca and City have been told De Jong will cost £75 million. As such, it makes sense for the Blaugrana to have alternatives in mind.