Tottenham are reportedly set to make a higher bid for Atalanta defender Cristian Romero after Barcelona rejected a player swap deal.
The center-back is the No.1 defensive target for general manager Fabio Paratici this summer and Spurs have negotiated with the Serie A side, who are believed to need around £ 45million.
But according to Gianluigi Longari of Sportitalia, Barcelona’s interest in the center-back drove up the asking price. The Catalans have reportedly made an offer that saw some of their players join Atalanta in a trade.
Tottenham reportedly set to bid higher for Atalanta defender Cristian Romero
This was rejected by Atalanta, but Barca are expected to return with a loan offer and an obligation to buy.
The LaLiga side are unable to afford high fees for the 23-year-old due to his continuing financial problems.
According to the report, Tottenham are currently preparing a higher bid for Romero.
Reports last week suggested they had made an opening bid of £ 34million plus £ 8million in add-ons.
Barcelona have now joined the race for Romero and are ready to fight with Spurs
But Barca joining the race for the center-back means he will likely have to increase his offer.
Atlanta now wants fees of between £ 51m and £ 55m, Tuttosport says, but Spurs are unlikely to pay that up front.
Atalanta signed Romero on a two-year loan from Juventus in September 2020 but triggered a £ 13million call option.
Romero has played a key role in helping Atalanta qualify again for the Champions League.
The center-back scored three goals and made five assists in 42 appearances last season and his impressive performances saw him crowned Serie A ‘Defender of the Season’.
The center-back was part of the Argentina squad that won the Copa America this month
He was also part of the Argentina squad that won the Copa America earlier this month, with Lionel Scaloni’s side keeping their clean sheet in each of the three games they have played.
Signing a defender is a priority for Spurs and new boss Nuno Espirito Santo this summer.
The club were turned down a £ 13million offer for Bologna center-back Takehiro Tomiyasu earlier this month.