Lyon midfielder Pape Cheikh has revealed that he came close to joining Tottenham Hotspur in 2017 from former club Celta Vigo, before deciding on a move to Ligue 1.
The Senegal-born Spanish Under-21 international moved to Lyon in a £12m deal during the summer transfer window in 2017, despite interest from Tottenham.
Cheikh told Spanish news outlet AS: “It was a hard decision. Tottenham also wanted me and the truth that their name sounded louder… but the idea of Lyon attracted me. I knew it was a club that works with young people, you work with them, they help you grow. And I think I guessed right.”
Cheikh has made 23 appearances for Lyon this season, with the 21-year-old midfielder often a feature on the bench for Bruno Genesio’s side during this campaign. He did however play a full 90 minutes during Lyon’s shock 2-1 victory against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium during the Champions League group stage.
This season has been somewhat of a breakthrough for Cheikh, considering the central midfielder only managed nine minutes of Ligue 1 football during his debut season in France last season. Despite making 16 La Liga appearances during his final season with Celta Vigo.
Since having their approach turned down by Cheikh, Spurs have made just one signing, with Brazilian attacker Lucas Moura joining the club from French giants Paris Saint Germain in January 2018.