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Romano: Tottenham & Barcelona close to agreement for Emerson Royal

Well, that escalated quickly.

FC Barcelona Unveils New Signing Emerson Royal Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

As of last night, Tottenham Hotspur’s interest in Barcelona’s 22-year old right back Emerson Royal seemed like a pretty remote possibility. Reports circulated that, as the Ilaix Moriba transfer fell apart, Spurs were shifting their focus to Emerson, but that Barcelona had rejected an initial offer that included Serge Aurier heading the other direction on loan.

What a difference a few hours makes. Now, several sources from Spain, and also Fabrizio Romano, are saying that Emerson to Tottenham is a distinct possibility and could be finalized within the next few hours. The fee is supposedly around €30m, but Spurs still need to agree personal terms.

Emerson was signed by Barcelona from Atletico Mineiro in the summer of 2019, but spent the past two seasons on loan at Real Betis. He started the first few games at Barca and is reportedly happy there, but we also know that Barcelona is broke and desperate for funds. That leaves an opening for a club like Tottenham who have a little bit of liquidity and also a need for a new right back.

It does however leave a log jam at the position, at least for now. If Emerson does sign (and at this point that’s a big “if”) Spurs still have Matt Doherty, Serge Aurier, and Japhet Tanganga all jostling for first team minutes. You’d have to think that at least of them goes before the close of the window, either as a sale or a loan, but it’s certainly proven difficult to sell players this summer. This also probably means that Spurs have either given up on or sidelined their pursuit of Bologna right back Takehiro Tomiyasu.

I’ve seen plenty of reports that Emerson has grown significantly while on loan at Betis, polishing his game to the extent that he’s a solid option for a more defensive fullback, good in the press and with smart, solid positioning. We may know more in a few hours, but this certainly sounds promising.