Tottenham agree £55m fee with Real Betis for Giovani Lo Celso | Football
Tottenham have reached an agreement with Real Betis to sign Giovani Lo Celso for a club record-equalling €60m (£55.3m) while Mauricio Pochettino is also hoping a deal for Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon can be completed before Thursday’s transfer deadline.
On a busy penultimate day of the transfer window Spurs finally struck a deal for the Argentina midfielder Lo Celso after failing with attempts to sign Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona, although a move for the Juventus striker Paulo Dybala also appeared unlikely to materialise broke down after the Juventus forward requested a salary of £350,000 a week.
While Lo Celso has yet to agree personal terms, he is expected to move to north London after being withdrawn from the Betis squad for the friendly against Las Palmas on Wednesday evening and is expected in London on Thursday for a medical.
The fee for the former Paris Saint-Germain player would match the amount Tottenham paid for Tanguy Ndombele at the start of July, with Pochettino having urged his chairman, Daniel Levy, to back him in the transfer market having reached the Champions League final last season.
His request appears to have been granted, with the manager also keen on signing the England Under-21 international Sessegnon before the deadline passes.
Negotiations with Fulham have dragged on all summer, with the Championship side having held out for a fee of nearly £30m despite Sessegnon having only one year of his contract remaining. England Under-20 World Cup winner Josh Onamha is likley to go to Craven Cottage as part of the deal having spent last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday.
Last season’s first-choice left-back, Danny Rose, has been reintegrated into the squad after missing Tottenham’s tour of Asia last month “to explore prospective opportunities with other clubs” but it is believed Pochettino would prefer to allow Sessegnon the chance to take over as the England defender’s long-term successor.
Ambitious attempts to sign a second Argentina international in the form of Dybala have been frustrated by the same issues which confronted Manchester United in their attempt to sign the 25-year-old last week.
As well as wage demands that would make him by far the club’s highest earner, complications relating to Dybala’s image rights – which are owned by his former agent Pierpaolo Triulzi – have caused those close to the deal to state it would take “something miraculous” to complete the deal before the deadline. Triulzi is currently suing Dybala for breaching their contract in 2017, with his new agent, Jorge Antun, reportedly having asked United for a £13.7m fee for his client to move to Old Trafford. Paris Saint-Germain could now be his best chance of securing a move away from Juventus, with new manager Maurizio Sarri having made it clear he is not part of his plans for the new season.
Spurs had also showed an interest in signing Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona but could not agree a deal with Barcelona. The Brazil international Coutinho worked with Pochettino during a loan spell with Espanyol in 2012.
The future of Christian Eriksen, meanwhile, appears no closer to being resolved after talks between the Denmark midfielder and Manchester United broke down. With less than 11 months of his contract remaining he is thought to favour a move to Real Madrid and could still depart after Thursday’s Premier League deadline as most European leagues’ markets remain open until the end of the month.