Exclusive - Cristian Romero has told Atalanta that he wants to join Tottenham Hotspur and has asked them to agree a transfer as soon as possible, 90min understands.
23-year-old Argentina international Romero has emerged as one of the best young defenders in Europe since moving to Serie A with Genoa in 2018.
He was snapped up by Juventus after just one year, but he has never played for the Old Lady, and spent another season with Genoa on loan before joining up with Atalanta - who secured an obligation to buy, which they are set to take up.
Indeed Atalanta's option stands at just over £12m; a figure they are set to quadruple with a quick sale to Tottenham. However, the Bergamo club have not yet agreed a deal with Spurs, who are pursuing the player through their new managing director of football Fabio Paratici - who was at Juve when they signed Romero.
Despite the fact that a free has not been agreed, Romero - who was part of the Argentina squad that won this summer’s Copa America - has decided his future.
Sources with knowledge of the situation have told 90min that the player has made it clear to Atalanta that he wants to move to England with Spurs.
"This is a big move and a big opportunity, and personal terms have already been agreed. Romero wants to move to Tottenham and has told Atalanta as much. He does not want them to stand in his way," the source confirmed.
Tottenham want to sign at least one new central defender, if not more, as Nuno Espirito Santo looks to upgrade their backline.
Spurs are ready to move on from Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez this summer, and the former is close to finalising a move to Qatar.
Nuno had been hoping that Spurs could make a move on his former club Wolves for Conor Coady. However, Wolves have made it clear to their former boss that they have no intention of letting the England defender leave this summer.
Wolves are open to the idea of Ruben Neves and Adama Traore leaving Molineux this summer, but Coady is being regarded as ‘untouchable’ within the Wolves hierarchy, and the former Liverpool defender is happy to stay and is not actively pushing for a move.
In addition, other outlets have linked Spurs with a defensive short list of Takehiro Tomiyasu (Bologna), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentia) and even Chelsea's Kurt Zouma, should the Romero deal fall apart.