At this point, it’s pretty clear that Mauricio Pochettino is interested in the services of Giovani Lo Celso.
Pochettino is Argentine, and so is Lo Celso. There have been quite a few links between Spurs and Lo Celso, but as of now the player is still at Real Betis, and he’s apparently still pursuing a move to a club in the Champions League.
Today there’s another update on the situation with Lo Celso. According to Spanish newspaper ABC’s site that covers Real Betis, Lo Celso has told the club that he wants to leave. Betis have responded to this request by telling the 23-year-old that he can leave when a bid of around €75 million is made for him.
The article is in Spanish, but it also says that Betis could try and convince the wantaway midfielder to stay until January if their valuation isn’t met.
Situations like these, when an in-demand player submits a transfer request, can get ugly if the player in question chooses to make it ugly. Lo Celso could opt not to report to preseason training to force a move, but the reporting here claims that he understands Betis’ point-of-view and agrees with the asking price they are setting for him.
€75 million is a lot to spend on one player, especially after Spurs have just splashed somewhere around £55 million to sign Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon. Tottenham can undoubtedly afford the move if they really want it, but there are still other transfers that will have to be made, including the signing of fullbacks and possibly a center back if Toby Alderweireld leaves the club.
Lo Celso’s purchase would likely be as a replacement for Christian Eriksen, who could still leave North London this summer. The Dane and the Argentine aren’t the exact same player, but they do possess a similar skill set in terms of how they are able to use progressive passing to connect defense to attack via the middle of the park.
On Wednesday, Spurs set off for their preseason tour of Asia. Eriksen was on the plane, and he was smiling as the team took off for the East. He could always end up staying and all this Lo Celso drama could end up not mattering.
It is now just 24 days until a new Premier League campaign starts for Tottenham against Aston Villa. There’s still a lot that has to happen in the transfer market, but it looks like things might end up coming down to the deadline, just like they usually do.