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Nobody knows exactly what’s going on with the Ndombele & Lo Celso transfers


Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Carabao Cup Final Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

We’ve talked a lot about the potential outgoing transfers of Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele this summer. That’s because those two are the most prominent Tottenham Hotspur first team players that are linked with departures this summer, and the ones that are the highest priority due to their large weekly wages.

But what’s actually happening? Friends, that’s a lot harder to parse.

First, let’s check in on Gio. The latest links out of Spain suggest that Villarreal, where Gio spent the second half of last season on loan, are still interested in bringing him back. There has been a lot of digital ink spilled about what this transfer looks like — it’s been hinted as a permanent transfer, a loan with a purchase obligation, and a loan with a purchase option. Today, a tweet from Matteo Moretto suggests that now it could end up being... just a plain one year loan, without either option or obligation.

Why? Well, Barcelona aren’t the only Spanish club that are dealing with La Liga’s finance rules. There are a number of other clubs that aren’t able to sign or register players because they just don’t have the funds or the liquidity. I am not 100% sure that this applies to Villarreal, but I do know that they don’t have a ton of cash to throw around. It might also have something to do with Spurs wanting a purchase option that’s higher than what Villarreal wants to spend.

This clearly isn’t finalized. Negotiations have been going on for weeks now, and it wouldn’t shock me if this changes again before all is said and done.

The other rumor about Gio suggests that Fiorentina remains interested in bringing him in on loan as well, but those rumors never seem to really escape out of the background noise, potentially because Villarreal remains Gio’s first choice club.

With Tanguy, things are a little more nebulous. Reports emerged a few days ago that Fabio Paratici was talking with Villarreal about a separate deal for Ndombele to send both players there. However, today, there’s a report that Napoli are looking into Ndombele as an option.

Napoli is among the clubs interested in Tanguy Ndombele. Heis one of the options on the list, while Napoli are also working on Keylor Navas, Raspadori and Simone.

Villarreal is also in contact with Tottenham for Ndombele, alongside their priority, Lo Celso.

“On a list alongside Navas, Raspadori and Simone” isn’t exactly the most encouraging news ever, but it’s certainly better than the chorus of crickets we’ve heard up to this point. If I had to guess I’d say it’s significantly more likely that we’ll see Gio depart Tottenham this summer before Tanguy, though I have a feeling if it comes down to the end of the window we’ll see Ndombele depart on loan somewhere, with Spurs covering the bulk of his wages just to get part of them off the books.

Edit (10:50 a.m. ET): Once again, Bat Country moves faster than my typing figures. Fabrizio Romano has said that the links between Fiorentina and Tottenham for Gio Lo Celso have dried up.