Tottenham decide stance on selling player Lionel Messi called 'best in the world' – Football News

Tottenham decide stance on selling player Lionel Messi called 'best in the world'

Lionel Messi is a big fan of Cristian Romero (Image: Getty)

Tottenham will fight to keep Cristian Romero this summer after the Argentinian defender was linked with a move to Real Madrid. Despite disciplinary problems, the centre back was perceived to be one of his club’s best performers under Ange Postecoglou last season, making 33 Premier League appearances.

And his form had led to widespread reports that the Champions League winners were lining up a bid this summer.

Real are scouring the market for a long-term replacement for skipper Nacho, with the 34-year-old set to leave the Spanish giants after his contract expired.

However, according to TBR Football, Tottenham are ‘not thinking about any scenario that could see Romero leave’ when the transfer window opens. The 26-year-old still has three years left on the deal he signed in 2022 amid his £13.5million move from Juventus.

Romero received criticism after being sent off against Chelsea back in September, his fourth red card in English football since initially joining Spurs on loan three years ago. But concerns over his physical approach have become secondary to his importance to Postecoglou, with the Australian boss continuing to favour Romero despite the arrival of Radu Dragusin in January.

And he’s not the only one to have lauded the 2022 World Cup winner. International team-mate Lionel Messi delivered a glowing appraisal last year after Romero had shone in Argentina’s 1-0 win over Ecuador.

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal FC - Premier League

Romero was a key player for Tottenham last season. (Image: Getty)

“For me, Cristian Romero is the best defender in the world right now,” said the playmaker. “He delivered an amazing performance tonight, he was the man of the match.”

Messi’s views were duly put to Postecoglou, who inevitably agreed. “I wouldn’t argue with Messi,” he told talkSPORT. “I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t like to play against him.

“Most of the boys don’t like to train against him. He’s a real competitor and I love that about him. Whether it’s training or a game, what you see is what you get with Romero.”

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Romero signed for Juventus in 2019, only to duly spend the next two seasons on loan at Genoa and then Atalanta. And he was with the latter when he was adjudged the Serie A Defender of the Year winner, before making his temporary move to Tottenham.

After impressing under Antonio Conte, Romero was then offered a permanent deal 12 months later. He now has 98 club appearances to his name, scoring six times.