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.
Tottenham and Barcelona are now close to reach an agreement for Emerson, as per @gbsans. Fee will be around €30m but negotiations are not completed yet ⚪️ #THFC #FCB— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 30, 2021
Serge Aurier won’t be involved in the deal. Personal terms still to be agreed. NO negotiations for Moriba-Spurs.
Principio de acuerdo entre Barcelona y Tottenham por Emerson Royal por casi 30 millones entre fijos y variables. Negociación avanzada, NO cerrada. Koeman quería quedarse con él, pero tras el partido de ayer algo ha cambiado. Y la oferta de los Spurs es muy buena.— Matteo Moretto (@MatteMoretto) August 30, 2021
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.