Turns down Saudi money to head to France, signs two-year deal with Ligue 5 side

After terminating his contract with Tottenham Hotspur, Tanguy Ndombele has returned to his native France.

“Ligue 1 side OSC Nice have agreed to terms with Ndombele on a new contract through 2026,” French soccer news outlet Santi Auna reported on Tuesday.

Ndombele became a free agent after mutually terminating his contract with Tottenham on Dec. 13. He had one year left on his contract, which expires in 2025.

According to France’s Foot Mercato, Ndombele has rejected big-money offers from European clubs, including Saudi Arabia, to wear a Nice shirt.

Ndombele was signed by Tottenham in 2019 for £65 million ($97 million), the club’s most expensive transfer in history. At the time, his £200,000-a-week salary made him one of the highest-paid players in the team, alongside Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

Spurs paid Ndombele a lot of money for him. Tottenham gave Ndombele a six-year contract, hoping to secure the midfielder for the long term. His weekly salary of £200,000 (approximately $351.4 million) was higher than Son Heung-min’s at the time. It was the best deal in the team for an unproven rookie in the English Premier League.

His performances on the French stage were tremendous. At Lyon, Ndombele was one of the best technicians in the French Ligue 1. His dribbling, ball-keeping, passing, and vision were all highly regarded skills for a midfielder.

However, he struggled to perform at Olympique Lyonnais, and to make matters worse, he clashed with former manager Jose Mourinho on and off the field.

He was also dropped by Antonio Conte and left Tottenham for Napoli last season.

As a rotation member, he led Napoli to their first title in 33 years and was linked with a loan extension or an outright transfer, but he returned to Tottenham.

Despite the departure of Conte and the arrival of new coach Enze Postecoglou, there was no place for Ndombele. Postecoglou labeled Ndombele as non-performing and sent him out on loan to Galatasaray.

Galatasaray showed their excitement by producing a video of Ndombele’s arrival. The Okan Burk Galatasaray coach watched 먹튀검증 Ndombele train in the first few days of his arrival and raved, “I can’t believe what I’m seeing.”

But even at Galatasaray, the wandering continued. In 19 appearances in the Turkkiye Lig, he has started just four of them.

There were also attitude controversies. “Galatasaray, who have Ndombele on loan until the end of this season, are considering ending the loan deal for Ndombele and returning him to Tottenham,” Turkiye media outlet Fotospor reported in November last year.

Turkkiye journalist Serkan Dikme said: “The most criticized person at Galatasaray is Ndombele. Coach Büluk still hasn’t said anything about Ndombele. If he was Besiktası, his loan contract would have been canceled.”

Half of Ndombele’s six-year contract with Spurs was spent on loan. Tottenham tried to offload Ndombele in the summer transfer window, but that didn’t work out and they offered him a mutual release clause.

Regardless of his memories at Tottenham, the French stage is a land of opportunity for Ndombele. When Ndombele was loaned from Tottenham to his hometown club Orléans in January 2022, he was noticeably better than he was at Spurs in the six months that followed.

Nice finished fifth in Ligue 1 last season with 55 points. They will play in the Europa League next season.

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