Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Xavi Hernandez is a huge admirer of Giovani Lo Celso and that the Barcelona boss believes that the Argentine is quite underrated in European football.
Lo Celso has shown his value for Tottenham in the last couple of matches, with the midfielder stepping up and becoming the main creative fulcrum for Ange Postecoglou’s men in the absence of James Maddison and later Rodrigo Benatancur.
The 27-year-old got on the scoresheet against Aston Villa and Manchester City and he now potentially has a chance to cement his place in the side over the next month or two, with Maddison hinting this week that he might be out until February (Amazon Prime Video).
However, the speculation linking Lo Celso with a move to Barca has not died down, with The Standard revealing a few days ago that the La Liga giants are unwilling to give up on the Tottenham man.
The report added that Xavi is continuing to push the club hierarchy to get Lo Celso through the door after learning that Gavi could be out for the rest of the season, with the Catalan club alleged to have made the Spurs star their ‘number one target’.
Xavi is a fan of Lo Celso but Tottenham remain firm
Romano has now shed more light on Barca’s interest in Lo Celso, confirming that their pursuit of the Tottenham man is being driven by Xavi.
MORE SPURS STORIES
The journalist revealed that the Blaugrana had a loan request for the former Real Betis man turned down by Spurs in the summer, adding that the North London club are not likely to entertain any offers for the Argentina international in January, given their injury crisis.
When asked about Barca’s pursuit of Lo Celso, Romano told Kick (as relayed by Football365) “In summer it was a possibility. He was one of the names discussed by Xavi and (Barcelona director) Deco in the meetings they had about the midfield position.
“They discussed this chance to bring in Giovani Lo Celso because he is a player from what I’m told is really appreciated by Xavi. Xavi really considers Lo Celso an underrated midfielder with very good skills. He would like to train Gio Lo Celso one day.
“But Lo Celso for Tottenham is an important player. He’s doing very good, he’s scoring goals, he’s performing at a top level, he has always been super professional, super serious also in training.
“Tottenham are very happy with Lo Celso and when they had possibilities for loan deals in the summer transfer window, they always said no.”
“Now they have Bentancur injured, James Maddison still injured, many players not available in that position in January because Pape Sarr and Bissouma will go to the AFCON.
“I think it would be completely crazy of Tottenham to accept a loan proposal for Lo Celso and I don’t see Barca going there and investing money for a permanent transfer of Gio Lo Celso.
“The appreciation is there. The appreciation of Xavi is there. But I don’t think this is a realistic deal for the January window.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Any small chance that Barca had of potentially signing Lo Celso is now over on the back of the midfielder’s last two displays.
Besides, if reports are to be believed, the Catalan club were only ever interested in a loan move for the Argentine and Spurs were likely never going to entertain any loan offers.