Paris Saint-Germain have bid €7 million for the services of Benjamin Stambouli, according to L’Equipe.
The report suggests that the French side hopes to obtain the midfielder in the coming hours ahead of their pre-season tour, beginning in Toronto on July 19.
Watford had recently come close to announcing their eighth summer signing in Stambouli, only for the deal to stall. An initial fee £5.5 million had been agreed, only for the 24-year-old to hold out. Now it is becoming apparent that interest from last season’s Ligue 1 champions may have altered the situation.
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The London Evening Standard yesterday published quotes from Etienne Capoue, who signed from White Hart Lane last week.
The Frenchman put pen to paper on a four-year contract, breaking a club record.
However the former Toulouse midfielder did allude to suspicions that his fellow countryman was having second thoughts. Capoue said: “Yes he is a friend and I’ve spoken with him about it [joining the club] but I can’t talk about what was said. It’s personal.”
Chance to earn big money and win trophies
The lure of a larger wage packet and European football is perhaps what is luring Stambouli away.
Although Watford are prepared to give him a regular first-team spot under new manager Quique Flores, the Frenchman may be content being part of the substitutes’ bench for the forthcoming campaign. In addition, Yohan Cabaye’s departure to Crystal Palace means that Laurent Blanc could desire him as a replacement.
The estimated €7 million (£4.9m) offer still falls short of Tottenham’s €7.6 million evaluation (£5.5m).
Though it would not be a surprise should last year’s Champions League quarter-finalists come back with an improved bid, or Spurs reach compromise and accept. It will come as unwelcome news for Watford, however, who continue to bolster the squad ahead of what is predicted to be a season of survival.
Stambouli had only been in north London for ten months, joining from Ligue 1 side Montpellier Hérault on September 1 last season.
He would turn out 26 times in all competitions for Tottenham, 12 in the league, but largely found himself either on the bench or not selected at all.
It will come as Spurs’ 12th outgoing player so far, including midfielders Paulinho, who headed to Guangzhou Evergrande in China, and Lewis Holtby to Hamburger SV.