Tottenham are reportedly set to battle La Liga champions Barcelona for Real Betis playmaker Giovani Lo Celso in the summer transfer window.
According to a report by Spanish publication AS, La Liga champions Barcelona are set to face stiff competition from Tottenham Hotspur in pursuit of Giovani Lo Celso. Real Betis could be forced to cash in on the Argentine international to balance their books this summer.
Lo Celso has enjoyed his best season yet as a senior footballer, having made 45 appearances across all competitions for Real Betis. Having taken no time to become a regular for Los Verdiblancos, the confidence in his game was evident all season long.
Lo Celso was in sensational form this term, with an impressive return of 16 goals and 6 assists to show for his efforts. His performances also convinced Betis to exercise their purchase option, paying €22 million to sign him permanently. But, Lo Celso could soon be on his way out of the club. Real Madrid and Barcelona have known to be interested in him and Tottenham are now keen on him as well.
The interest from Barcelona comes as a bit of a surprise, with Ernesto Valverde having a well stocked midfield unit at his disposal. When Frenkie de Jong makes his way to Camp Nou in the summer transfer window, the Barcelona manager will have as many as six regular options at his disposal.
In addition to the aforementioned midfielders, Riqui Puig will also hope for more minutes next term after breaking into the first-team setup this season. So if Lo Celso makes his way to Barcelona, chances are he might find himself in a predicament similar to when he was a PSG player. The La Liga champions also have to contend with Tottenham for the Argentine.
Tottenham currently find themselves in a precarious situation, with the future of Christian Eriksen up in the air. The Danish playmaker, who is linked with a move to Real Madrid, has just one year left on his deal with Spurs and could be set for a summer exit from the club. Lo Celso is thus, a viable target to replace Eriksen in the advanced midfield role.
The 23-year-old though, could also be an option for a slightly deeper role, with Tottenham also struggling to replace Mousa Dembele, whose departure has left Mauricio Pochettino somewhat short of options in the middle of the park. And, Tottenham are so serious in their interest in Lo Celso that they are prepared to steal a march on Barcelona by lodging a €60 million bid for him.
As per the report, Betis could be forced to cash in on some of their best stars, including Lo Celso and Junior Firpo, who has recently been linked with a move to Manchester United. With Tottenham prepared to offer the big bucks for Lo Celso, a move could be in the offing.
If the claims made by AS are indeed true, Barcelona need to act fast, if they are serious about signing Giovani Lo Celso. As things stand, judging by the report, Tottenham may have taken the lead in the race to sign the 23-year-old playmaker who took La Liga by storm this season.