Nantes defender Batista Mendy is on the verge of agreeing a move to Brighton despite interest from Tottenham, according to a report.
French news outlet Foot Mercato claims that Mendy, 18, has taken the shock decision to switch to the Amex despite interest from Spurs, Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
It is understood that Spurs were leading the race to sign the young French defender, who would be available on a pre-contract as his deal at Nantes expires at the end of the season.
The Ligue 1 club have offered Mendy the chance to sign a new deal, but he has rejected it and is instead close to agreeing a move to Brighton after talks with the Premier League club came to a close.
Mendy has never made a senior appearance in French football although he is highly rated among the national team’s youth ranks with appearances for the Under-16s, Under-17s and Under-18s.
Football Insider verdict
It is certainly a strange choice for Mendy to choose Brighton even though teams like Barca and Real Madrid were chasing his signature. It may be that the 18-year-old feels that the Seagulls are more likely to present him with a chance to earn first-team football, which is true considering the depth in talent at other clubs interested in him. Also Chelsea is perhaps not the best place to go as a young footballer as he may just spend the next three seasons out on loan at Vitesse before being sold on. It will be interesting to see how this centre-back’s career progresses and if Spurs will come to regret not trying hard enough to sign him.
In other Tottenham news, Spurs have jetted on a mission for this £35million-rated defender but Daniel Levy has suffered a blow.