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Rumour Of The Day: Ljajic to Tottenham

Posted on Jul 25th, 2013 by James Ellaby

There are reports that Serbian midfielder Adem Ljajic might be a target for Tottenham Hotspur, having refused to sign a new contract at Fiorentina this summer.

The 21-year-old has had an eventful career, having almost joined Manchester United in 2009 (along with Zoran Tosic - remember him?), only for them to decide not to take up the option to sign him for mysterious 'work permit' issues.

A year later he left Partizan to join Fiorentina, where he flourished under Sinisa Mihailovic, but hit the headlines last year when his successor Delio Rossi punched Ljajic in the face during a game. The manager was sacked and Ljajic was 'punished'.

A few weeks after that, his relationship with Mihailovic fell apart at national team level when he refused to sing the national anthem before a Serbia game. He was kicked out of the squad.

Given this chequered history and his current issues with La Viola, you might wonder why Spurs are interested in him, but he's a talented young midfielder with a lot of potential to get even better.

His current deal expires next year, which gives Fiorentina an incentive to sell now while they can still get money for him, but also drives down the likely price.

New coach Vincenzo Montella is keen to keep him and has tried to convince him to stay one more year:

Adem has experienced important growth over the last few months, but he needs to improve again. For me, and I have told him this, he should stay at Fiorentina for at least one more year, preferably longer, if he is to become a champion.

A complication for Spurs is that AC Milan are amongst the other teams targeting him, with reports suggesting that their failure to sign Keisuke Honda from CSKA Moscow puts Ljajic at the top of their list.

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