The Pau Lopez to Tottenham Hotspur transfer rumors might not be as dead as we had previously indicated. Spanish football daily Sport are now reporting that the deal is back on, and that Spurs are expected to land their man after submitting an increased bid.
Lopez, a 22-year old keeper, was at Spurs on loan for the whole of the 2016-17 season, but while he made the bench on a number of occasions he never once took the field for Spurs in a meaningful match, appearing only during Spurs’ post-season friendly game against Kitchee in Hong Kong. Spurs had a deal whereby they spent a €600k loan fee to bring Pau to Spurs, and had an option to buy him in the summer for €7m. But Spurs balked at the €7m purchase option and only offered Espanyol €2m. Espanyol refused, and Lopez was set to return to the Spanish club.
Lopez is entering the last year of his contract and was part of a crowded keeper corps in Spain, so he was refusing to sign a new deal with Espanyol. Sport reports that Spurs have submitted a new offer of €2.5m plus add-ons, and that Espanyol has accepted, which could make Pau Spurs’ first permanent signing of the transfer window, which opened on Saturday.
It’s hard to say whether this is a good move for Tottenham, as we never really got to see Pau play in any meaningful capacity. Pau was a member of the Spain U21 team that participated in the U21 European Championships this summer, but only started one match in the Euros, earning a shut-out in a 1-0 win over Serbia on June 23. Should the rumors of this deal be true, it’s unlikely that he’ll see much action this coming season for Spurs: Pau is still currently behind Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm, and Luke McGee is still technically a Tottenham player after a highly successful loan to Peterborough.
Mauricio Pochettino must see something in Lopez if the club is willing to go the extra distance to buy him, but as long as Hugo’s around he’s a long-term project. Still, €2.5m isn’t a lot of money for a keeper that could develop into a very good Spurs shot-stopper in the future.