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Real Betis reportedly break off negotiations with Tottenham over Lo Celso

(inaudible screaming)

Real Betis Balompie v RCD Espanyol - La Liga Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The Giovani Lo Celso saga has been going on for several weeks without any sign of a resolution. There have been so many stories, rumors and whispers regarding the status of the Argentine International that it’s hard to keep up with all of the stories, never mind figure out which ones are real or bogus.

Tottenham Hotspur have made it clear that they have legitimate interest in acquiring the midfielder from the Spanish side, but the gulf between what Betis want for the player and what Spurs are willing to pay may prove to be too great. ABC Sevilla, who have covered the negotiations since the outset, reported Sunday that Betis have broken off negotiations with Tottenham Hotspur amidst interest from Atletico Madrid and Napoli. Mateo Gonzales, the Sports Editor at the outlet, wrote the article:

El Real Betis ha roto las negociaciones con el Tottenham para el traspaso de Giovani Lo Celso, según ha podido conocer La ruptura del diálogo entre las partes se produce a pocos días del cierre del mercado en la Premier League y después de varias semanas del tira y afloja de ambos clubes para la venta del argentino. Los verdiblancos han rechazado todas las propuestas del club inglés, subcampeón de la última edición de la Liga de Campeones, y están molestos con la actitud del Tottenham con el Betis y con el propio jugador.

There’s been a ton of information that has come out in the last week, but this basically says that Betis are moving on (for now) because of how Spurs are treating the transfer. If this screams “Lyon’s Aulas” to you, that’s probably not far off from the truth. The difference is that, with the Lyon Chairman, it’s easy to tell when it’s posturing and when he’s serious. With Betis, it’s much harder to tell because they rarely discuss transfers out in the open.

Lo Celso tenía un acuerdo con el Tottenham desde hace semanas, ya que el club inglés se había comprometido a más que doblarle la ficha si se incorporaba a sus filas. El jugador esperaba que la situación se resolviera antes de su reincorporación a las filas béticas pero en Heliópolis han entendido que las ofertas del Tottenham no han sido suficientes hasta la fecha y han roto las negociaciones debido a que ha aparecido el interés de otros clubes para hacerse con Lo Celso.

There’s not much new in this paragraph. Lo Celso reportedly had a deal agreed upon with Tottenham since the end of June. It’s clear he’s fine with the move, especially since he’d be getting a massive bump in wages, but the game of chicken that the two clubs have played stretched this saga into the final week of the English transfer window. If you’re looking for a silver lining, here it is:

De esta forma, el Betis negocia ahora con otros clubes el posible traspaso de Lo Celso, que tiene una cláusula de rescisión de cien millones de euros. Atlético de Madrid y Nápoles ya mostraron en fechas recientes su interés por el argentino. La ruptura de las negociaciones con el Tottenham a pocos días del cierre del mercado en Inglaterra puede ser una estrategia verdiblanca para presionar al club inglés a que incremente su propuesta, al tiempo que una llamada de atención para los otros clubes interesados en el argentino. Las urgencias del Betis para la venta del futbolista han disminuido con la venta de Junior al Barcelona y el acuerdo con el Crystal Palace para la cesión con obligación de compra en caso de permanencia de Camarasa, aunque resta el consentimiento final del futbolista para cerrar esta operación.

Gonzalez admits that this could be another strategy by Betis to force Levy to pay extra for Lo Celso. The €100m release clause was never going to be met by anyone in Europe, but Betis still haven’t budged from that €75m figure that has been quoted many times over. Remember that this is the same outlet just a couple of days ago that said Lo Celso was going to transfer eventually this window, so this may be the panic button for Betis.

Atletico Madrid I can definitely see being involved, and while they’ve made a ton of sales this window, they’ve also spent quite a bit of cash and may not be willing to go any higher than Tottenham. In regard to Napoli, I have a difficult time believing they have the cash laying around to buy Lo Celso, but Betis are at least going to hear them out to try and drive up the price.

Before this story broke, The Record in Portugal stated that a deal was done for €60m, but if that were the case, this saga would probably have wrapped up last week as I still believe that figure could get it over the finish line if some add-ons are thrown in.

Adding it all up, as one Michael Caley said in the writers’ room, this feels like a potential buyer storming out of the manager’s office at a car dealership yelling “You won’t take the offer!” over and over again. It’s frustrating, it’s tiresome and I think we’re all sick of this potential move. The “good” news is that it will be over one way or another this week as the English transfer window shuts Thursday night.