Tottenham have agreement in place for Pape Matar Sarr

Martin Macdonald
Pape Matar Sarr of Metz is wanted by Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City and Real Madrid

Metz have confirmed that a "verbal" agreement has been reached with Tottenham over the transfer of young midfielder Pape Matar Sarr.

Reports last week indicated that Spurs were in advanced talks over the 18-year-old, and negotiations have developed since then, though the deal will allegedly be for more than the £12 million that was previously indicated.

The upcoming transfer was revealed by Metz president Bernard Serin, who confirmed that the player will remain with the French side on loan for the 2021/22 campaign.

"Nothing is signed, but I have a verbal agreement with the president of Tottenham", he told Amazon.

"It is much more [than £12m], both on the fixed amount and the bonuses. Pape Matar must also be satisfied with the contract offered to him and this is not yet the case.

"There will be more discussions at the start of the week."

"If the transfer is to Tottenham, he will be loaned to FC Metz [for the season]."

How good is Pape Matar Sarr?

Sarr is a player who is still in the development stage of his career, but at just 18 he already ranks well among Ligue 1 midfielders. Indeed, one of the most interesting aspects of his game is just how well he can react to danger. His defensive positioning is considered to be elite among midfielders in France’s top flight, comparable to Eduardo Camavinga of Rennes and Boubacary Soumare, who left Lille for Leicester in the summer.

Sarr is also a useful dribbler but where he can improve is his use of the ball. While his passing is typically strong, it can be risky, particularly in his own half, where he has a tendency to take chances. This daring is an asset further up the field, but he has not learned to temper it.

Furthermore, he has not started the 2021/22 season in particularly good form, with head coach Frederic Antonetti grumbling after a 2-0 loss in Nantes: “We had an incredible waste, especially from Sarr. Maybe because we’re talking about his transfer so much, it’s playing on an 18-year-old…

Antonetti, though, holds the youngster in a high regard, describing him previously as a “midfielder who can do everything”.

With Metz, he has typically played in a deep midfield role, but given the chance he is capable of operating in a more advanced position. Indeed, last season he returned four goals in 28 Ligue 1 matches, with a particular ability to score from outside of the box.

What other clubs were interested in Pape Matar Sarr?

A host of leading clubs were monitoring Pape Matar Sarr, including English giants Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City. Previously, Aston Villa were keeping tabs on him, but were put off by the price tag.

Real Madrid were also linked with a possible move for him.

Tottenham, it seems, have won the race for his signature, however.