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AS: Gio Lo Celso wanted by Xavi & Barcelona, but only on loan

Gio is apparently admired by Xavi, who was once linked to Spurs’ managerial search.

Indonesia v Argentina - International Friendly Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images

Ange Postecoglou is said to want to give a number of Tottenham Hotspur’s fringe or loaned players a look before deciding about whether they have a place in his Spurs side next season. Tanguy Ndombele is apparently one of those players... but we’ve heard virtually nothing about Giovani Lo Celso.

What we have heard is that Gio is of interest to a few clubs, including Aston Villa and Villarreal, where Gio spent last season on loan. But now we have a new contender — Barcelona. Spanish daily AS writes that Barca manager Xavi considers Gio to an option for the “Leo Messi role” in the Catalan club’s side. No pressure, right?

In fact, despite the fact that Messi hasn’t played for Barca in two years, the Inter Miami (lol) star looms large over this rumor; AS talks about how a couple of years ago Messi told Xavi that Lo Celso was the best player in the Argentina squad, and that he played “like an angel.”

That said, Gio is apparently not Barca’s top priority, and if they move for him it would be on loan only with a purchase option because Barcelona is still, apparently, broke and stymied by FFP.

I find articles like this hilarious, not because there isn’t some level of truth to them (if AS is writing on Gio there probably is some interest) but because it just comes across as so completely over the top. Honestly, if Gio really has no interest in staying at Spurs — and we haven’t been given any indications that he does — then it’s probably better that more clubs are interested in his services. I’d certainly rather sell him to Barca or Villarreal than a club like Villa who we have to play at least twice a season.

In the end, I’ll believe it when I see it, but offloading Gio to Barca? Sure, fine, I guess. Though I wish we could get some actual money for him, or at least a purchase obligation, so we don’t have to go through this all over again next summer.