Barcelona hold a long-standing interest in Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Giovanni Lo Celso, but their well-documented financial limitation has hampered the possibility of striking an agreement.
However, with wonderkid Gavi set to be sidelined for the remainder of the 2023/24 campaign after picking up an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, the Blaugranas could be forced to move for Lo Celso.
Not only is his ACL ruptured, but several reports suggest the 19-year-old midfielder damaged his meniscus as well during Spain’s 3-1 victory over Georgia in their final fixture of the Euro 2024 qualification.
Despite their financial predicament, Barcelona are expected to source for potential replacements for Gavi when the January transfer window opens.
Tottenham offered a chance to get rid of Lo Celso
Lo Celso is one of a handful of players who survived the Ange Postecoglou clear-out of last summer that saw seven first-team players axed from the squad, including club legend Harry Kane.
The arrival of the Australian tactician has brought about renewed optimism around the club, resulting in their emphatic start to the 2023/24 campaign.
However, it hasn’t worked in Lo Celso’s favour, with the Argentine playmaker registering just 83 minutes of first-team football across all competitions this term.
Spurs have undoubtedly undergone a reinvention under Postecoglou, but Lo Celso has struggled to earn a spot in the manager’s first XI or long-term plans, and a January exit appears to be the most likely solution.
Barca are familiar with Lo Celso as he played a starring role for Villarreal last season when the Yellow Submarines secured qualification for the Europa League.
Lo Celso contributed two goals and three assists in 22 league games, but his underlying numbers also caught the eye, creating three big chances while averaging 1.4 key passes per match.
The 27-year-old was also a dominant force in midfield, winning 57% of his total duels while averaging 1.5 tackles per match.
Lo Celso could do a job for Barca in Gavi’s absence, and given the Spanish side’s financial limitations, a loan deal seems like the more plausible option.
Spurs could opt to retain Lo Celso’s services with James Maddison sidelined until the new year, but they are unlikely to stand in his way if Barca act on their long-standing interest.
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