The last few days have been somewhat quiet on transfer rumors regarding Tottenham Hotspur’s pursuit of Argentine International Giovani Lo Celso. When we last left off this transfer saga, there were reports that the deal had been agreed upon for €60m, then Real Betis moved the goalposts and tried to squeeze more out of Daniel Levy. In typical Levy fashion, he’s dug his feet into the sand and won’t budge. This is, of course, speculation. Since then, we’ve heard nothing until this morning.
ABC Seville (via Sport Witness), in their print edition running today, state that a transfer is going to happen despite Lo Celso showing up for Betis training this week.
‘With a week to the close of the Premier League transfer market, Betis awaits new movement from Tottenham. The London team have an agreement with Lo Celso, although always conditioned to the open negotiation with the Verdiblanco team.
‘Daniel Levy, president of Tottenham, has a reputation as a tough negotiator, hence he has not raised his proposal for more than 50 million euros, including goals, far from the 75 that Betis demanded at the beginning of the summer.’
That sounds like the Daniel Levy we all know. There’s a few stories going on here, but this one was always the most plausible: Betis are trying to get maximum value for a player that fell into their laps and, since they’re forced to give 20% of the fee to Paris Saint-Germain, they’re not willing to budge on the price just yet.
The problem for Betis is that nobody else has come for Lo Celso. They were hoping for a bidding war and only Tottenham Hotspur showed up to the auction. Now they’re trying to delay a sale in hopes that someone, anyone, shows up at the last minute to try and drive up the price. Levy knows that Betis have to sell due to them buying Nabil Fekir from Lyon. Of course, this gives all of us anxiety and sends our blood pressure through the roof as we’re just over a week away from the Premier League transfer window slamming shut.
There’s also a story going around from writer Nicolò Schira on Twitter, stating that Lo Celso’s contract is ready to go.
ABC Seville backs this up, but Schira takes it a step further by saying the deal is for five years and worth €4m a year. That seems low, because that comes out to just over £70k/week. I would disregard the original tweet he has in this because it’s from July 21 and we know that a transfer fee hasn’t been agreed upon. Take Schira’s tweets with a massive grain of salt at this point because I doubt GLC is moving for anyone under £100k/week, and that’s very conservative.
We’re all on edge here. We’ve seen this movie before and, sometimes it has a terrible ending like last summer. Other times, Spurs have pulled it out at the last moments such as Hugo Lloris and Clint Dempsey back on deadline day in 2012. Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen also came in the closing days of the window, though I can’t recall their sagas being remotely troubling. The best thing I can say is to trust that Levy knows what he’s doing and when the rubber meets the road, he’ll get this done.
UPDATE (10:13AM ET): Something something grain of salt, but looks like movement nevertheless as the Daily Mail, quoting Mundo Deportivo, that a deal is set for £55m.