Barcelona are eyeing a move for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Giovanni Lo Celso this winter window.
However, according to the Evening Standard, the Londoners are unwilling to let the Argentine star leave.
Barca are grappling with an ACL injury to midfielder Gavi. The young Spaniard tore his ACL while on duty for his national team on Sunday and will miss the rest of the season and next year’s European Championship in Germany.
Gavi’s injury has the Catalans sweating. The man fondly described by his manager Xavi Hernandez as a ‘heart with legs’ has been a pivotal figure for his boyhood club, making more appearances than any other player since his debut in the 2021/22 season.
Barcelona are scouring the market for options to replace the 2022 Golden Boy award winner and have landed on Lo Celso. In truth, they have had eyes on the former Real Betis player for a while but have a pressing need now.
Lo Celso joined Spurs in 2019 but has struggled to live up to his big-money transfer fee. He joined Villarreal in January 2022 on loan, spending six months with the La Liga club and impressing in that period.
The Yellow Submarines decided to take him on another loan last season, and he continued to deliver.
However, he could not secure a permanent move this summer and stayed at Tottenham even when it was clear he was down Ange Postecoglou’s pecking order.
The Australian manager has preferred a central midfield pairing of Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr, with Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg and Rodrigo BentaNcur playing backup.
Lo Celso is yet to start a Premier League game for Tottenham this season, but the North Londoners will not listen to offers for him as they have their own injury worries.
Playmaker James Maddison will be out until 2024, and Spurs need all hands on deck if they want to keep their title hopes alive.
Spurs are unwilling to let Lo Celso go at this point, and Barca will need to convince them or move to other targets, or they can raise someone from within, with youngster Marc Guiu tipped to step up.