Tottenham Hotspur face a fresh club-versus-country spat with Argentina after Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero face missing the next two Premier League fixtures, according to Sky Sports.
The report claims that Spurs gave their blessing to the pair to head to South America to represent their country on the understanding that their involvement would end after Sunday’s mouthwatering World Cup qualifier against Brazil.
However, Argentina boss Lionel Scalioni reiterated that every player selected is in contention to feature in all three of their fixtures over the next fortnight.
He said: “We gave the list for the three games and there are no doubts about that,” Scaloni said following Argentina’s 3-1 win over Venezuela on Thursday.
“The players are here to play all three games. We never had a refusal from the clubs. We spoke and reached a conclusion that they had to come.”
If the Spurs duo return after Sunday’s fixture, they would only miss one Premier League match, next weekend’s trip to Crystal Palace due to the requirement to undergo a 10-day period of isolation upon arriving back in the UK.
Should Scalioni retain his players for next Thursday’s match against Bolivia, they would also be unavailable for the Europa Conference League group stage opener at Rennes on September 16 along with the London derby against Chelsea on September 19.
Towards the end of last month, Premier League clubs had all ‘reluctantly but unanimously decided’ not to allow their players to travel to red-list countries over the international break.
However, in a piece on the official Spurs site rounding up the involvement of players away on international duty, there was only a mention of Lo Celso and Romero planning to feature against Venezuela and Brazil, but not against Bolivia.
Spurs Web Opinion
It is a headache that Spurs would rather not contend with so early in the season, with important games coming up so quickly. Both Lo Celso and Romero already have their injury concerns to contend with, so potentially losing out on Spurs training and ultimately losing match fitness is a worry for Nuno Espirito Santo already.
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