The clearest and most likely transfer Tottenham Hotspur had in this January window now appears to be dead. According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Traore and his agent Jorge Mendes have pivoted to Barcelona, who are working on signing the Wolves winger on loan but with a larger purchase option than Spurs were offering.
Barcelona working to sign Adama Traore from Wolves on loan with ~€35m buy option. #FCBarcelona speaking to #WWFC & 26yo. Not done yet. Spurs deal all-but over. Club-to-club talks were going positively but he wasn’t keen to play RWB @TheAthleticUK #THFC https://t.co/MDI2PVTDvy— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) January 27, 2022
It’s really hard to see this as anything but Jorge Mendes pulling a Jorge Mendes and pivoting towards what he thinks is a more favorable deal for his client (and likely himself). Barcelona clearly is a club with a large pull even after COVID has put them in a less than favorable financial position. Mendes is not only Traore’s agent, he’s also the agent of Wolves manager Bruno Lage and is tied to the Wolverhampton Wanderers organization in a myriad of ways, so there’s all kinds of ways he could have outsized influence in this kind of transfer.
I’m not sure why Barcelona are so interested in Traore all of a sudden, nor am I sure why they’d be offering a loan instead of just buying him outright when their issue is less with purchasing players than it is their overall salary. But there it is. Ornstein’s last sentence in that tweet — that Traore wasn’t keen on playing RWB — also suggests that Adama himself had some agency here.
This puts Spurs back to the drawing board with regards to bringing in a right back in this window. Look, it sucks to be gazumped, I get it. However, if you choose to take a positive (or at least a less outright mega-doomer) spin on the situation, we know that Fabio Paratici always has multiple irons in the fire. With a few days left in the window, who knows what new names and links will emerge? There’s still time.
Update: Fabrizio Romano has given his HERE WE GO.
Adama Traoré to Barcelona, done deal and here-we-go. Loan with buy option [not mandatory] for €30m plus bonuses. Barça will cover 100% of the salary until June. #FCB— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 27, 2022
Deal to be signed on Friday, as per @David_Ornstein.
Enhorabuena a @martinezferran @gerardromero @sport pic.twitter.com/QQCIVpnSrD