Tottenham report: Spurs reach agreement for Ruslan Malinovskyi to join in January

Tottenham target Ruslan Malinovskyi of Atalanta B.C. celebrates after scoring their team's second goal during the Serie A match between Atalanta BC and ACF Fiorentina at Gewiss Stadium on December 13, 2020 in Bergamo, Italy. Sporting stadiums around Italy remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
(Image credit: Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly tied up the signing of Atalanta playmaker Ruslan Malinovskyi.

Spurs were chasing the Ukrainian schemer in the summer along with a number of other creative targets including Leicester City No.10, James Maddison. With six new faces arriving at the club, however, the Lilywhites couldn't complete all the business that Antonio Conte wanted to, with the Italian stressing that he wanted to do more. 

“If you compare to last season, we are more complete,” Conte said (opens in new tab). “But to reach other teams at the top level we need time, patience and transfer markets, at least two transfer markets to reach the same level.”

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League group D match between Tottenham Hotspur and Sporting CP at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 26, 2022 in London, England.

Antonio Conte has been frank about his side's need to add quality to the squad (Image credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Now, Italian publication Il Giorno (opens in new tab) claims that Tottenham have gone back in for Malinovskyi and will pay around £13 million to secure the midfielder in January, giving the side a boost until the end of the season.

Spurs have struggled without the likes of Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison in the team, with Conte moving to a 3-5-2 to pack the midfield. Son Heung-min's injury against Marseille left the side with just Harry Kane of those front four – and a real lack of creativity in breaking down deeper blocks. 

Conte has been bullish about his desire for Kane to stop playmaking and get on the end of chances in the 18-yard box, which has so far paid dividends. The England captain has 10 goals so far this season, with only Erling Haaland having scored more in the Premier League.

Malinovskyi therefore is likely to either play as part of the front three or as a midfielder in the 3-5-2. 

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane looks on during the UEFA Champions League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Eintracht Frankfurt on 12 October, 2022 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, United Kingdom

Harry Kane is arguably Tottenham's best playmaker right now, as well their best finisher (Image credit: James Williamson – AMA / Getty Images)

The 29-year-old can play either as a central midfielder of a second striker, meaning that he could be deployed alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg or Rodrigo Bentancur or ahead of them, behind Kane and/or Son. 

Malinovskyi is valued at around £25m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab)

More Tottenham Hotspur stories

Tottenham could go head-to-head with north London rivals Arsenal for the signature of Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie, according to reports.

Spurs are prepared to offer Antonio Conte a new deal in a bid to fend off interest from PSG in the Italian, while wonderkid goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili has been tipped to replace Hugo LlorisDavide Frattesi has also been linked.

And finally, Paul Sarahs has picked out the 15 worst Tottenham signings of the Premier League era. Read it and weep, Spurs fans...

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