Barcelona are reportedly eyeing a move for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Giovanni Lo Celso during the winter transfer window.
However, according to the Evening Standard, they are unwilling to let the Argentine star leave.
Barcelona recently lost another player to injury, with midfielder Gavi tearing his anterior cruciate ligament while on international duty with Spain.
The man fondly described by his manager Xavi Hernandez as a ‘heart with legs’ has been a pivotal figure for Barca, making more appearances than any other player since his debut in the 2021/22 season.
Barcelona are scouring the market for options to replace Gavi and have set their sights on Lo Celso.
He initially joined Spurs in 2019 but has struggled to live up to his big-money transfer fee.
Lo Celso 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 out of favour at the club.
Manager Ange Postecoglou has preferred Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr in midfield, with Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur playing back-up.
Lo Celso is yet to start a Premier League game for Tottenham this season, but they 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.
Alternatively, they can promote someone from within, with youngster Marc Guiu tipped to step up.
- Manchester City back on track after 2-1 victory over Luton Town
- Aston Villa 1-0 Arsenal: Bailey goal extends Villains’ unbeaten home run
- Pep Guardiola denies City are reliant on Rodri but the stats disagree
- Preview: Aston Villa vs Arsenal – prediction, team news, line-ups
- Man Utd boss Ten Hag scoops Premier League MOTM award
- This Week In Football: Last-minute UWNL drama, Santos relegated & more
- Morning Mix: Arsenal face acid test at Villa, Chelsea boss has no excuses
- Arsenal or Liverpool: Who is better placed to beat Man City to the title?
- Copa America 2024 draw: Argentina to face Chile, Brazil and USMNT discover their groups
- Four reasons PSV Eindhoven are overtaking Ajax on and off the pitch