Tottenham Hotspur are hoping to receive £30m from the potential sale of Giovani Lo Celso – but they could end up with one of their targets instead, a report claims.
Lo Celso is currently spending the rest of the season on loan at Villarreal. There was no place for him in the plans of Antonio Conte, so Spurs sent the midfielder away in January. Since then, he has been working to prove them wrong.
Villarreal have been impressed with what Lo Celso has given them so far. The attacking midfielder has played 13 times for them since his winter switch.
Although yet to contribute a goal or assist, Lo Celso has settled in well with the Spanish outfit – who are due to play Liverpool in the semi-finals of this season’s Champions League after knocking out Juventus and Bayern Munich.
Lo Celso started both legs of both those ties. In fact, he has already started more games for Villarreal this season (10) than he did in its first half with Tottenham Hotspur (eight).
What’s more, he has completed 90 minutes on four occasions for Villarreal, in comparison to the same amount (but only in Europa Conference League matches) for Spurs between the summer and January.
Therefore, there have already been reports that – despite the lack of an option to buy – his transfer to Villarreal could become permanent in the summer.
Despite his return to form, Tottenham would likely not complain. This could be their chance to cash in on the 26-year-old, who is under contract until 2025.
Football Insider are the latest to report that Villarreal want to explore a permanent deal for Lo Celso. According to the online outlet, they have already informed Tottenham of their desire to keep him.
Tottenham can hold out for whatever asking price they like thanks to not committing to a pre-arranged option to buy when they lent Lo Celso to the Yellow Submarine.
The report claims they believe they can gain £30m by selling Lo Celso. That would represent a similar amount to what they signed him from Real Betis for – themselves after an initial loan deal – in 2020.
The transfer fee at the time was £28.8m, although the fact they had previously spent £14.4m on his loan means they could make a slight loss if £30m is their benchmark. Still, it could be decent business.
Tottenham to take Torres in return for Lo Celso?
Alternatively, Football Insider claim that Tottenham could arrange a part-exchange deal with Villarreal. In return for sending them Lo Celso, they could acquire Pau Torres.
The Spanish centre-back is a Tottenham target as they look to improve their defence. Conte seems to want a left-footed centre-back and he fits the bill.
Although Torres has also been linked with Manchester United, Tottenham have been establishing their own interest too. Villarreal’s desire to keep Lo Celso may give Spurs an advantage.
Under contract until 2024, Torres may be more expensive than Lo Celso. Therefore, it might not be a straight swap.
But it could be worth the extra investment from Tottenham. Besides, they have already reinforced elsewhere in Lo Celso’s position so do not necessarily have that particular need.
Instead, adding the 25-year-old Torres could be a shrewd move to strengthen their defence.
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