According to a Spanish outlet, Tottenham and Antonio Conte have given the green light for Giovani Lo Celso to leave the club this summer.
The Lowdown: Lo Celso not in pre-season squad
The Argentine left the Premier League to spend the second half of last season out on loan at Villarreal after experiencing a considerable lack of game time in N17, with the deal including an option to buy.
The Lilywhites have omitted the midfielder from their squad for their pre-season tour of Asia, suggesting that an exit is inevitable, and there’s a strong chance that he could be returning to La Liga after a successful spell over the past couple of months.
The Latest: Spurs ready to sanction exit
In a new article published by Spanish website El Periodico Mediterraneo (via Sport Witness), it’s claimed that Tottenham and Fabio Paratici have ‘opened the exit door’ for Lo Celso, which in turn has also opened the ‘entry door’ for Villarreal to re-sign him.
The source states that his exclusion from the team is a ‘clear sign the talented footballer has free rein to find a new destination’, and report that he is very much keen to make the move to join Unai Emery again ‘no matter what’.
It’s believed that the Lilywhites ‘could ask for between €25-30m’ (£21.1-25.3m) for their midfield maestro, which are currently ‘prohibitive figures’ for the Spanish giants, though there’s hope that they will generate the required transfer funds from the sales of existing players.
The Verdict: Time to move on
Conte clearly doesn’t view Lo Celso as someone he wants to involve as part of his long-term project at Spurs, so making the switch back to Villarreal or finding a new club would be the best option for both parties.
Before his loan, the 26-year-old, dubbed a ‘technically gifted’ player by teammate Harry Winks, only made three appearances in the top-flight in the two months that he spent under the Italian boss, so understandably wanted to go out and find more game time elsewhere.
Lo Celso became a fan favourite during his short stint at Villarreal and played regularly, helping them reach the Champions League semi-finals, so it wouldn’t come as any surprise to see him return and make his stay permanent in the weeks ahead.
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