Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with Giovani Lo Celso for basically the entirety of the summer.
Negotiations with Real Betis have been inching along, and now Spurs are apparently “close” to signing Lo Celso for £55 million, which makes this following report, about another attacking midfielder, a bit confusing on the surface.
RTP, which is essentially the Portuguese version of the BBC, is claiming that Tottenham have sent a representative to Lisbon to try and sign Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP. Here’s a translation of what the link video is reporting, courtesy of /u/santorfo on /r/coys.
Tottenham has sent a representative to Lisbon to try to sign Bruno Fernandes. The London club is interested in the captain of the “Leões” and is going to negotiate his transfer with their president, Frederico Varandas. The value of the offer is unknown but Sporting has made it clear that they won’t let the player go for less than €65 million. Manchester United has also expressed their interest in the player, without presenting an actual offer.
Fernandes, like Lo Celso, is an attacking midfielder. It seems unlikely that Spurs would be willing to pay upwards of £100 million for two players who play the same position, especially when they’ve already splashed the cash by paying a club-record fee to sign Tanguy Ndombele. Unless, of course, this means that Christian Eriksen is leaving and they want to players to fill his spot.
The Portuguese international led Sporting CP to a third-placed finish in the Primeira Liga this past season. His stats were quite impressive, as he managed 23 goals and 14 assists in all competitions. Still, it should be noted that the Portuguese League is not on the same level as La Liga (where Lo Celso played) and the Premier League.
Another Portuguese outlet, O Jogo, has added some more context to the situation. They claim that Spurs made a €45 million bid for Fernandes through the player’s agent, but that bid was then rejected by the club.
This seems like a good problem for Mauricio Pochettino to have. If the choice is in fact between Fernandes and Lo Celso, Pochettino is choosing between two quality players. If Eriksen is leaving and both midfielders join, then they’re replacing the Dane with two superb talents.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that this interest in Fernandes is a smokescreen. In other words, it could be an attempt to pressure Betis into lowering their asking price for Lo Celso.
All this will have to be resolved by 5 p.m. BST on August 8th, as that’s when the transfer window will shut.