Tottenham and Serie A club AS Roma are reportedly in talks over a swap of left-backs. The Mail Online believes Cameroon international Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Italian Federico Balzaretti could move between the Stadio Olimpico and White Hart Lane in the next few days.
The Cameroonian joined Spurs from French club RC Lens in 2006 and has made over 150 Premier League appearances since, scoring four goals. However, the 30-year-old has fallen down the pecking order in Andre Villas-Boas' plans for the north London club, with youngster Danny Rose set to replace him as first choice in the left-back slot.
Balzaretti was part of the Italy squad that made it to the final of the 2012 European Championships. He made 27 Serie A appearances for the Giallorossi last year, after joining them from Palermo for €4.5m.
AVB has been linked with a left-back this transfer window, furthering talk that Assou-Ekotto will leave the club soon. The former Chelsea boss was earlier linked to Real Madrid star Fabio Coentrao, either as makeweight in a move taking Welsh international Gareth Bale to the Santiago Bernabeu or as an independent transfer. However, interest in the Portuguese international has cooled for now.
In other transfer news, Spurs are in advanced talks in the deal to bring Argentina international Erik Lamela to the Premier League. The 21-year-old attacking midfielder is believed to be nearing a £66,000 per week agreement with the club and the Independent believes Bale will be allowed to leave for Madrid (in a world record £86m move) once Lamela signs his contract.
AVB on Etienne Capoue
French midfielder Etienne Capoue has drawn praise from AVB after an excellent debut for Tottenham. The 25-year-old international helped his new club beat Swansea City 1-0.
"That was a very good performance from Capoue, great to see him out there protecting the back four. That shows signs of a player who is mature, has great technical qualities and it able to recover so many balls that give the team possession and the chance to attack," the former Chelsea boss stressed.